Animals are extremely talented at seeing movement; their peripherals fine-tuned to spot predators before it's too late. A chef on the other hand, is extremely talented at spotting the opposite—lack of movement.
As such, it didn't take long for the chef to spot me briefly taking a breather, placing my hands on my hips between orders during service that night. He hollered at me across the kitchen for the team to hear:
"I don't like the body language you're showing me!"
He was right. By not standing tall and prepared, I was creating a substantial difference in how valuable I was in the kitchen, not only in that exact moment, but also for the remainder of service. I was holding the kitchen back in two ways:
1) Productivity: This one isn't hard to imagine. By not standing in a prepared stance, I would be starting behind for any incoming orders (as opposed to putting myself in the best position for my first moves). By standing with my hands on my hips, I was also ignoring the smaller jobs that could be done around the kitchen as I waited for new orders.
2) Attitude: A ton of research has been done to prove that our posture has a huge effect on our happiness, productivity, confidence, and success rate. And like any team, a kitchen staff feeds off one another's energy, so by standing with my hands on my hips, I was detracting from the kitchen's potential.
Adjusting your posture to sit or stand (shoutout to standing desks for changing my life) tall is the easiest way to tell your brain it's time to focus and get stuff done. Try implementing it into your workflow by following the challenge below:
Check Your Posture
Active time to complete: 1 min
Sometimes even if we start a working session with good posture, it gradually degrades as we continue to work. As an experiment, set a timer to go off every 15 minutes during your next power hour working session. Each time the timer goes off, quickly reassess posture, make necessary adjustments, and get back to work! Bonus: this technique can also be used for feeling time pass.