Manage Your Mid Day

Once the lunch rush winds down around 1:30 , I am ready to nose dive into the nearest bed.   After a 4 or 5 am wake up I am usually running on empty.   

I usually enter this fugue state between 2 and 4 where I just wander around looking as unproductive as many terminated employees from the past.   

This state remains until after and drive and a shower.  Then I am ready to take on the world again.   

My resolution this month was to manage my midday.   I have already filled my physical and mental primetimes with a plethora of productivity.   But it always bothered me that I can’t find a way to get more done during this time.  

It’s a real “tragedy” because at this time…. Everyone wants a piece of the GM.      My managers want some guidance, my employees want to vent, guests want to speak to me about a fundraiser or event.   And my mind is shiviled by the information as my eyes dart towards the nearest exit.

So what can I do to fix this?

I looked to my other resolutions for guidance.  

  • Set up the next day in advance.   Usually a nightly chore.  But it didn’t hurt to get a head start
  • Push yourself.  The last thing I want to do is talk to people.  But I keep telling myself “one more call, one more email”. 
  • One Minute Rule.   Don’t feel like doing anything requiring doing any thought?  No problem.  Just do a bunch of mineless tasks that only take a few moments.  
  • And when all else failed and the restaurant was squares away.  I would Reward myself.and leave early.  Like I said, a short reprieve usually rejuvenates me.  

I’m sore tonight.  To much shoveling the last few days.  

Looking forward to having all my boys together tomorrow.  

Here are some other ideas on how to be productive during the middle of the work day


The Ides of March – 3/15

The most important kind of freedom is to be what you really are. You trade in your reality for a role. You give up your ability to feel, and in exchange, put on a mask. ”  Jim Morrison

People in the North East were still digging themselves out while the restaurant is open for business.   Absenteeism was rampant in my kitchen this morning which gave me a long time alone.   Your mind can’t help but wonder.

I spent a lot time thinking about my persona and how it evolved over my years in management.   The one I had to create to not thrive but just to survive as an introvert in an extrovert world.

I would like to say that I am a kind , warm-hearted individual.   A confidant that anyone could lean on.   At least, that’s how I remember myself growing up and in my early days as a cook.  .

I know the role I play now…A cold, sarcastic, and driven manager.  On the surface my employees might think that I couldn’t give a damn about them.   Some of the more quizzical , can see right through that.    Please, Understand that the job does require a bit of firmness otherwise you become a rug for everyone to walk on.

When I leave work I can leave that persona at the door…But do I?  Or do  I spend so much time playing that role that it becomes my reality?  Reminds me a little of a different industry.

I’m a big professional wrestling fan.  Not so much of the storylines nor the matches themselves.  But of the backstage stories and the psychology of it.   The life of a WWE wrestler is very grueling.  250 -300 days a year you are on the road a new city every day.   You work sick and hurt.   And all this time you are away from your family.

In Brock Lesnar’s bio Death Clutch.   He describes what the late Curt Henning once said to him about the wrestling business.  He told him to “get in…To get out”.  To always have an exit strategy.  What would happen is that a Wrestler would hold on and play their persona for so long that they would lose theirselves to it.   They would hang on for so long that they would lose Their faith, their families, and all they had left was their character.

Not saying the restaurant business is a anything like the life of a professional athlete.  But it does make me think.  How I don’t want to waste everything I have.   Which is one of the reasons I started the Happiness Project in the first place.

Although I know it’s unfair I reveal myself one mask at a time. Stephen Dunn

Snowed in -Mar. 14

Blizzard Stella is sweeping along the East Coast, cold Stella sounds good right about now.   I’m enjoying a relaxing day at home

I hit the gym around 6am when there was only an inch or two.   Then I went to the store to stock up knowing I wasn’t leaving the house for anything.   I got a laugh because when I went to the frozen food aisle to grab a pizza and found a scene similar to this.

I had a whole to do list set this morning but I guess it’s a sign of progress that I finished it by  noon and literally had nothing to do that could be done from my house.

I went a little stir crazy

I still remember  the Blizzard of 93. Even if I was only 6.  I can remember standing on the snow bank a being able to peer into  my Grandma’s kitchen that was 15 feet off the ground.   Throwing snowballs at my dad while he snow blowed a ducked out of sight.   How life was simpler.

Who do you do to pass the time during these snow storms?

Management Paradox – March 13th

Took a long walk/jog to clear my head this afternoon.  Like I mentioned the other day, I’ve been thinking about my future resolutions for April.   Just like the months prior, by the mid way of the current month my resolutions have begun to become habit and it’s time to start brainstorming about the next set up changes I want to make in my life.

While I have ideas for marriage, parenting and lifestyle.   Work was weighing on my mind today.

I want to “Cut people slack” but also         ” Hold my people more accountable”  .

I find myself committing a huge management sin more often I like to admit… I ride my “stars” : the results driven, hard working, and team players.   Pointing out their every mistake instead of focusing my energy on the lazy, self-centered, and less eager to please.

Sure, I tend to reward my stars more for their efforts as well as dealing with my sometimes overbearing nature.   But I know how frustrating it must be for them when they constantly have to pick up the slack for rest of the under achievers.

So maybe a resolution about consistency in managing expectations is in order in April.

If you are in the North East.  Please be safe if you are expecting snow over the next 24 hours.

Push yourself – because no one else is going to do it for you. March 10th

After working a rare Sunday I failed to take a complete day off this week.   I had a complied a  to do list of various house hold chores that spanned the entire front page of a legal pad that I wanted to get done when I got home.    

I had gotten away from list making because I had been so engaged in tackling tasks as soon as they came up.   I have completed so many annoying things these first two months but I new I could get better.  So during some down time at work  I wrote a list for tonight, tomorrow, and a master list (which I have always struggled at).   

But as I got out of the shower I was attacked by a sudden urge to just lay back in my chair and waste away the afternoon.   

I knew if I didn’t do anything I would feel guilty and stressed out.   So  I put my ear piece in ( only one…Got the crazy kid running around) and set out to knock this list out.   I wouldn’t look at the clock…Just put my head down and not stop until it was done. 

So for three straight hours…In between multiple games of “ring around the rousy” and “last ride powerbombs on the bed” I…

  • Did the laundry
  • Sorted the socks
  • Did the dishes
  • Cleaned my office
  • Sorted toys to give away
  • Gave the boy a bath
  • Shopped for some things for the boys rooms.  
  • Fixed the door on my dresser
  • And more 😉

I was also feeling guilty about not exercising today so I forced myself to do 10 push ups in between each task.  

My momentum was derailed a little bit when I learned that my closing dishwasher at the restaurant failed to show up.   It consumes me to no end when there is staffing issues at my restaurant when I am out of the building.   I was my managers to not have to deal with being short staffed, they have enough to deal with, plus it drives me crazy when I can’t do anything in the moment.   

Before you knew it my list was complete and I felt like I earned my moment to rest before a new week starts

I’m reminded today of an old commerical with Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith.  He was bench pressing and the voice over came on.  “I just won the Superbowl…So I can rest now”   He fully extended the massive set a weights  and held it there for a moment.   Then brought it back down.  And then back up.   Then the screen read…”All men are created equal…Some work harder in pre-season”

Does anyone remember that commerical?

Even harder question…What was it an advertisement for?  I have no idea. 

Time for a breather March 11 

To hell with this weather.   I want to go hiking

One of the trade offs of working the long day yesterday was that I got to work at short shift this morning.  

Gives me time to get to the gym, get some work done around the house and play with Liam.  Nothing too ambitious   Kid is exhausted…And exhausting.  (Reward Yourself)

Having a light day also gives me time to reflect on the week as well a prepare for the upcoming days. 

Also started prep on next months resolutions.   For those just starting, each month I set 8 new resolutions for improving my life while keeping  all the previous sets.   I currently have 24 under my belt…Some more successful than. Others.  But sitting down and reflecting makes me realize I still have a lot of work to do.  

One firm resolution for April is going to be Give the House More Personality.   Decorating a house can be very inexpensive If you know where to look. has some very cheap decor.  Downside….It takes a while to arrive.  China is far away you know….