Your Kitchen and Your Consciousness, new from David Allen

John Forrister

GTD Connect
Staff member
I always want to wash any dishes to clear the sink, before I start cooking. The more complex the dish, the more I want to start from a clear space. That includes recently sharpened knives.
 

John Forrister

GTD Connect
Staff member
You probably noticed that this essay has two references that most of us are not currently doing: making restaurant reservations and having guests over for dinner. But it's still timely, because many people have recently converted their kitchen or dining room tables into workspaces for one or more members of the family. If you don't already have family agreements about managing the kitchen/dining areas, this is a great time to do that. Being proactive will head off situations before they show up as sources of contention.

Some examples for your consideration:
  • If one person is in an online meeting, is it okay for another person to make lunch in the kitchen? Is it okay as long as it's mostly quiet -- spreading mayo on bread vs blending ice cubes for a smoothie?
  • Would it help to have a family calendar review to start the day, to anticipate any meeting overlaps, or times to avoid bandwidth-intensive work?
  • If the kitchen or dining room table is used for work, does that work need to wait until breakfast is over, or be cleared by a certain time for dinner?
  • Is it okay to have a sign that says, "I'm focusing -- later please," or does being at the table mean it's okay to interrupt?
What examples do you think of? And which ones have already shown up?
 

John Forrister

GTD Connect
Staff member
I prefer to wash the dishes after the meal, not before cooking. Washing after closes the open loop in my mind.
Now I'm embarrassed if I gave the impression that I leave the dishes in the sink until prep time for the next meal. I wash up right after the meal.* There are still a few that can accumulate before the next meal, like coffee cups, a saucer or two, and the dogs' food bowls. (I feed them before I feed me.) Those are the dishes I wash before starting to cook.

*Years ago I knew someone who liked to leave the dinner dishes on the table overnight, so she could wake up and see a reminder of the pleasant dinner. I don't think I could sleep with an uncleared table in the other room. Also, dishes are easier to wash before any food remnants dry and stick.
 
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