It’s rainy and cold. What do you make for dinner?
Tomato soup and grilled cheese-it’s a classic! And that’s just what I did a few weeks ago. An easy meal, perfect for a chilly gray day. Until I burned the life out of the grilled cheese. facepalm. But, as soon as I flipped those charred sammies, I knew exactly what I was supposed learn-like a big thunk on my forehead from God.
I’m getting really stinkin’ good at learning lessons in my everyday activities-so good, in fact, that I will often call Stephen while drive just two miles away to the store to share something I learned! I’ve been keeping a little list of those lessons-here’s the first one:
3 business lessons I learned from making grilled cheese sandwiches
Don’t overthink things
A grilled cheese is one of the simplest food items you can make. Seriously, bread, cheese, butter. But the last time I made a grilled cheese, the outside was dark and the cheese wasn’t super melty, so I decided to look up a recipe.
(I doubted myself)
Then I decided to zhouzh up the sandwich with a yummy spread.
(I wanted to create the best possible product)
All I could think was “Oh, I hope Stephen’s super impressed with my gourmet grilled cheese!” I spent so much time concerned about his opinion of these dumb sandwiches that I overthought every step. How to butter the bread. How to get them that perfect golden-brown. How to get the cheese gooey.
(I was frantically attached to an outcome)
As I ooooooverthought each step, I got the opposite result from what I wanted. A charred sandwich that no one wanted.
Sometimes, the more we try to make something perfect for someone, the more prone we are to make mistakes. We overcomplicate things. We get stuck in a vortex of adding…and never actually finishing. And we overthink an otherwise simple job.
How to fix an overthinking problem
How can you take action on something you know you’ve been overthinking? What do you just need to put out into the world that you’re currently overthinking and you know it?
And stop overthinking it.
Make the best product you can without overthinking it.
Learn to focus
I was so busy stirring soup, refreshing my phone screen, reading the recipe, adding ingredients, and checking temps that, without thinking, I added olive oil to my pan (mistake #1). I then let the oil overheat (mistake #2). When I laid down the already buttered bread, the smoking oil burned the bread on contact.
You see, there’s a looooot of our brain that runs on auto pilot to conserve energy. I mean, our brains burn somewhere around 80% of our total daily calories, so that smart lil thing wants to put itself on cruise every chance it can.
In my case, I had wayyyy too many things happening at once. I maxed out my thinking capacity, and parts of my brain started conserving energy by running on autopilot. What do I normally do when I take out my skillet? I add oil. I didn’t even have to think-I just did it, even though it wasn’t what I needed for this job.
Here’s the thing-There are SO many times in our businesses that we’re trying to do WAY too many things at once and, in the process, we over complicate simple jobs. We overthink things that should be easy, and we don’t get things done because we keep thinking of something to fix or reword.
You’ll know when to flip-taking action intuitively
The last lesson came after I remade the dang sandwiches. I tuned out distractions, stopped caring about what Stephen thought about my sandwiches, and just started making them.
In fact, I stayed focused while they toasted in the pan. I didn’t scroll on my phone. I just stood there. I wanted to give my intuition the chance to nudge me and it did! All of a sudden, I had a feeling that it was time to flip the sandwiches. I lifted the corners and they were perfect!
And in that moment, I realized that a lot of business is like that. When you get quiet, focus, and listen to your intuition, you’ll know exactly when it’s time to take action, release a new product, launch a course, unroll a new service.
So, how can you find a way to get quiet in your life and business so you can listen to your intuition?