Cut the Carrots

carrots being cut and stacked on a cutting board
Photo by Alex /
Originally Posted on 2021.02.19 at

Yesterday was one of the most focused and productive days that I have had in a while. I woke up feeling refreshed. The amount that I slept was in that middle ground; not too tired from staying up late or for sleeping too much. Like the cookies, my wife has been making in our air fryer recently, perfectly crisped on the outside and warm and soft on the inside. Some of those cookies with a glass of cold milk, bruh. "Broke da mout" as we say in Hawaii. Now I’ve just gone and made myself hungry.

As I got out of bed yesterday around six to six-thirty, I fired up my work laptop to begin teleworking. With the pandemic, we have shifted to a staggered telework schedule with half of us working from home on one half of the week and the other half going into the office, then switching on the tail end of the week with alternating Fridays.

Looking around my bedroom I am currently working from, it was hella messy. Laundry (clean btw, just not folded yet) stacked on the chairdrobe and guitar/tech gear strewn across the floor on my side of the bedroom. My wife is what I call a “natural minimalist” (someone who has been living a minimal lifestyle before minimalism was a thing), has a very uncluttered side of her room. I mean we share the entire room, but my crap seemed to pile up on the side closest to the desk where I work and where I am typing this out now.

The biggest thing that jumped out at me, however, was the unmade bed. It was all wacked out with blankets twisted into each other, my half of the bedsheet was all scrunched up because apparently when I sleep I turn into a Beyblade. I stopped whatever I was doing, probably scrolling through Instagram or my Gmail, and gave the green tea mattress the proper care it longed for. Untangling and folding the blankets, fixing and tightening the bedsheet on all four corners, retrieving the pillow that made its way under my desk. It only took a few minutes at the most and now looked immaculate. Probably not good enough to pass an inspection in the military, but a marked improvement.

Admiring the freshly made bed, I seemed to recall my wife asking me to get some things done in between work. I could feel these items slowly slipping through my mind. I could remember the first two things, but I was sure there were at least three others that had faded into a blurry fine art. Grandpa always said, “short pencil, better than long memory”. With no pencils within arms reach, I opened a notepad on my laptop and started jotting everything down I could remember to get done today. An inquiry to my better half refreshed the last three items and I now had the big-ticket items of the day mapped out.

Feeling a bit more satisfied I went downstairs to eat breakfast before diving into my workday. After finishing my waffles, coffee, and YouTube, I promptly remembered that I needed to cut carrots for dinner that evening. So I ended up peeling and cutting carrots before 8 am. They were all prepped and ready for the air fryer because yes, everything is now getting air fried.

Somehow, making the bed triggered some kind of productivity drive within me, which then prompted me to make a list, which lit a fire under my ass to get the list knocked out asap. That list helped me to focus, where on the daily I have three to five screens facing me at any given time, each simultaneously hurling unsolicited information at my face.

While grinding through my workday, I ended up making all the needed phone calls, and while taking screen breaks, knocked out all the items on the list aside from the ones that were just scheduled appointments that I could not get to unless I could finish repairing the flux capacitor in the garage first.

I feel like none of this information is necessarily new or groundbreaking.

  • Make your bed.
  • Make a list.
  • Air fry everything.

All jokes aside, I suppose I had ironically forgotten about these simple measures that help to create a system that I so desperately need to stay focused and productive instead of lollygagging and flailing about my day. Planning and execution are preferred over firefighting. Plans are made to be broken and shit happens, and firefighting is a very important skill to have. But doing so throughout the day, day after day after day, is IMHO, simply not sustainable. So this morning, I made my bed and made a list, all before the waffles, coffee, and YouTube.

And you know what else I did?

I cut the carrots.