Chicken Pot Pies and Flow: How doing the most mundane things can give you fulfillment and happiness
You have read my essays about being in flow. You might be thinking to yourself that being in flow is for the most creative and important of endeavors. Certainly flow can be used to generate the important work you do. However it can be used in the most mundane of activities as well.
Let’s talk about Chicken Pot Pies. My partner owns a food company that makes chicken pot pies and a whole host of other items that are then forazon and sold at retail. It is a very good business especially during the pandemic as people wanted to stock up on this comfort food.
Every morning I go in early to help her with some of the items that need to be made for the day and week of sales. One of those things is filling pot pies. “Bottom” crusts have already been prepped the day or night before by another employee (we hand roll all of our crusts). I just need to do the middle part of the operation: filling. Top crusts are another operation.
First I prepare the pot pie sauce or gravy, and my work station by arranging the chicken I’ll need and the vegetables (mixed corn, green beans, peas and carrots). Typically I will fill 40 to 50 seven-inch round chicken pot pies.
To trigger flow, I do several things:
- I think about the ingredients I will need and arrange them nearby in a way that is most efficient and effective. I think about how the arrangement will make best use of the space and placement of my measuring cups and other tools I need to do the job. I visualize it in my head. In other words, I carefully and completely arrange my workspace for optimization.
- Right before I start I check the time and give myself a deadline for completion. From start to finish, after everything is in place, I can fill 40 to 50 pies in about 20 minutes.
- Once I start, I go into a meditative type of mode wherein I think about each scoop of sauce, every dip of vegetables, every movement I make until it becomes “routine”. I count the steps. I try to feel the utensils in my hand and the ground I am standing on and the movement I am making.
Before you know it I am done and moving on to my next project. Swedish meatballs, anyone?
If this sounds a little ethereal it might be, but we often take steps ior do routines without thinking about it. I have made a little extra effort to think about it. I have consciously decided to be very aware of what I am doing and to “gamify the routine’’.
Taking these steps when doing mundane things can trigger flow, give you more fulfillment, make the time fly by and make you highly productive and efficient. Give it a try.
This post was created with Typeshare