24: Simmer

You have a design meeting in a few days or a story that is due.  You know the overall concept of what your scope of work is, but have not put pen to paper or finger to keyboard yet.  It’s crunch time and you sit down to create and…egads…nothing!  Your other weekly assignments, tasks, etc, have prevented you from prepping for your deadline.  Well, my friend, never underestimate the crock pot of your mind. This brings me to today’s word in our continuing exploration of 42 Words to a Better You…..



photo courtesy of iStockphoto_OG

 #24: Simmer

Well, it seems that all of my years of watching Julia Child has paid off.  And I’m not talking about whipping up a mean boeuf bourguignan, but, rather, employing the cooking technique of simmering into my everyday thinking process.

Let’s say you are going to make beef stew in your favorite slow cooker (and if you don’t have one, maybe your neighbor can lend theirs to you).  After you prep the meat, veggies, and other goodies, you put them in the crock pot, set, and forget. (Although it’s hard to forget it when the heavenly smell fills your house.)  You leave the ingredients and heat to work their magic and when the time is up…. Voiola!!!  You have a hearty and delicious meal ready for your enjoyment.

So, you are probably asking, “What the heck does this have to do anything?”  “Has Jason finally flipped his lid?

Now that you are done blowing off steam, let me tell you.  Here’s my recipe that sometimes gets me out of a pickle when I have a busy week and know that a looming deadline is on the horizon.

Let’s say I have design project due on Friday morning.  On Monday, I will prep the ingredients (scope of project) and put them in my crock pot (mind).  The ingredients in my case could be design parameters such as a second floor addition, 3 bedrooms, one bathroom, new staircase, colonial style, etc.  While I am going about my other weekly tasks, I allow the ingredients of my project to simmer in my subconscious mind.  A kind of “set and forget it” approach using the often underestimated power of the subconscious mind to begin to formulate and develop your ideas for you.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, I will take a deep breath and inhale the scent of the slow cooking creation, and remind myself that there is indeed a delicious meal soon to be served.  When the timer sounds on Thursday, I open up the crock pot of my mind and am able to dish up a hearty design meal in time for Friday’s deadline.

This method may not be everybody’s cup of tea, but has worked for me on more than one occasion. I’ve used it both for doing architecture as well as writing blog posts.  In this on demand society we live in, it doesn’t hurt to have more than one cooking utensil in the kitchen drawer.

How are some of the ways that you have or can use the power of your subconscious mind to help with your projects?

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Bon appetit!