Papercut and colored pencil art by Sheryl Aronson X 5

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Prepare Ahead and Simplify

I like to look for shortcuts that make my life easier. One area I have been working on lately is ways to prepare ahead, or to set things up for future use.
One example is tonight’s dinner, which I have already prepared, and put in the refrigerator. All I have to do is heat it up later. I like to make large amounts of food, like soups and casseroles, then for several days, I just dish out what I need, heat and serve. It is the same amount of work to make a small batch as a large one, so might as well do the work one time, and have several day’s meals prepared at once.
Another food related example is one I used when preparing Thanksgiving dinner. I needed cut up vegetables for soup and for the stuffing. I cut everything in one session the day before, and put them in separate bags, ready for when I prepared each dish. I also use this shortcut when I cut up vegies to eat raw with lunch, and to be cooked with dinner. I only have to gather supplies and clean up one time, but have vegies ready for two meals.
I enjoy doing jigsaw puzzles, especially during the winter. The first step is sorting through all the pieces (I like 500 –750 piece puzzles the best), finding the edge pieces, and making the frame. Then it is easier to put the rest of the puzzle together. I find this sorting step to be tedious and boring. I just finished a puzzle last week. When I took it apart, I put the edge pieces in one bag, the rest of the pieces in another. This way, next time I do this puzzle, I have the first step already done, and I can right away start putting the puzzle together.
These are just a few examples of ways to simplify, combine tasks, or prepare ahead to make future tasks easier. Look at the tasks and activities in your life. Are there ways that you can combine or simplify what you need to do?

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