Thomas Keller, the only American chef to have earned three Michelin stars at two restaurants, spoke to the Wall Street Journal about habits. He said that he was most comfortable in situations where repetition is the norm.
“In order to be great, you have to be consistent.” Habit doesn’t interfere with inspiration – it allows it to happen. At first, Keller needed to pay close attention to cleaning a salmon, but after a couple of years the task didn’t require so much concentration. The habit of always cleaning a salmon the same way allowed him the freedom to think about what he would do with the salmon after cleaning it. “You become liberated by repetition.”
Set a routine to take medication the same way every day – it will free the mind to think of more interesting things than “did I take my pill?” Make the next blood pressure appointment when leaving the physician’s office – no need to worry about schedule conflicts and medication shortages. Prepare a brown-bag lunch the night before – the time saved by not looking for something to eat will free up time for a daily walk.