015 - Let Things Percolate



  • Coffee can taste better (even in a plunger) if you do three things
  • If we also let our thoughts and responses percolate we can improve them too
  • Draft, pause, walk away, revisit - it allows time to reconsider
  • No one sees all the best ideas at first pass
  • You need to start earlier to allow time to percolate.




So, in my office I use a coffee plunger - I'm saving up for a fancy coffee machine, but thought I'd learn how to improve the quality of the coffee I produce in the old plunger first.

I've found that:

  • Warming the plunger and the cups before using them helps
  • Boiling the jug and then letting it sit for 60 seconds before pouring, helps
  • And, letting the coffee sit in the plunger for 3 minutes also helps.

If you pour it too soon, it doesn't have much flavour.

So, letting it percolate makes a big difference.

And I got to thinking, as I am wont to do, how we often react very quickly these days to emails, comments that others make, or even to ideas we might have. We don't let them percolate - we're drawn into the quick pace of everything.

And I can't help wonder whether, if we let things percolate a while, they'd be better.

Let's apply this to coming up with valuable ideas for your business, project or organisation.

Option 1 is, dream it up/brainstorm it, perfect it, and then act straight away.

The plus side is, it's fresh in your mind - you get cracking sooner.

The downside is, it may not be as good because there may be things you didn't think of, to begin with, including who else might have a great perspective on it.

Option 2 is, dream it up but then:

Don't try to get it 100% right at first - just do a draft

Let it sit for a day and then come back to it - you'll see things differently

Socialise it with a few people

They'll add to it, help you clarify it in your own mind, improve it somewhat

And you get more buy-in - everyone likes to be involved.

Three areas for Application

Here are three practical areas where percolating can help improve the quality and therefore the outcomes thereof:

  • Email - draft, save, hold it for a bit
  • Presentation - brainstorm, initial sequence, hold, revisit
  • Idea - draw it out, come back to it, add to it, revise it.

In each case, you have to start earlier than the deadline - you need time to percolate. You can't microwave it!

But if you do, you'll almost certainly get better quality.

And create better outcomes.

And outcomes is where the rubber hits the road.

Thanks for listening

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