I worked as a sous chef through high school and for a few years during my college summers. Where I worked in our area was considered a “fancy” restaurant. I was the person between salads and meat. I took care of anything that had to be fried or sautéed. Maybe this is the start of my high cholesterol, but I digress. The following remark is not meant as a slam regarding the eating habits of America, but I was indeed busy every time I had a shift. We used to call the busy time, “the weeds.” This was the time when it seemed everyone came to eat. The orders piled in and while I needed a bigger stove more importantly I needed to prioritize.
Prioritizing projects seems to be the cliché of the week. Deadlines, planning, and future events all need to be maintained, stirred, and kept warm. Some projects need to maintain a constant boil. These have to go out right away. I love this stage. Creativity is flowing and things are humming. It’s hot and ready to serve. But…wait, here is a better analogy. The waiter comes back to the kitchen and says the client is still on the salad and not ready for the main course. I curse, and then move the meal to the back burner and turn down the flame to a simmer.
I move some projects or “pots” around to make room for something new. There are things marinating, waiting to be cooked. These are ideas waiting to be created. There are things simmering on the burners. These are projects in the works. Then I find out the customer excused himself to head to the head. Time passes, ideas idle, things get crispy, but never burnt. I think to myself, hit or get off the spot. I have things to make and serve.