“Efficiency is intelligent laziness.” — David Dunham

1. Do A 1 Minute Mental Walk Through

Read the recipe, read the recipe, read the recipe. Have you read the recipe? Now like an Olympic Sprinter visualize each step of making the dish and play it out in your head. These two simple steps will greatly increase your success rate in the kitchen.

2. Set The Stage

Turn on the oven, put on the pot of boiling water and pull all the appliances and groceries out you will be using. This saves you from hiccups like searching for your blender lid while your eggs are over-poaching.

3. Take 1 Minute To Make An Action List

One helpful technique you can steal from restaurants is to jot down all the actions you need to complete a dish and then put a number beside them in order of priority.

A simple example using Spaghetti with Pesto:

  1. Boil Water, Set Up Strainer In Sink
  2. Heat Pan
  3. Grate Parmesan
  4. Pick Basil
  5. Peel Garlic
  6. Toast Pine Nuts In Heated Pan
  7. Drop Pasta
  8. Blend Basil, Parmesan, Pine Nuts, Olive Oil, Garlic
  9. Strain Pasta, Fold In Pesto.
  10. Plate

By optimizing your order of actions you maximize efficiency and limit mistakes.

Photo: Half Baked Harvest

4. Cut Ingredients Into Smaller Pieces

Taking 1 minute to chop the onions a little finer can save you 5 minutes in the pan or cutting root vegetables into smaller cubes can save you 30 minutes of roasting time. Do a tiny bit more work now to save a lot of time later.

Photo: The Pioneer Woman

5. Peel Over Wax/Parchment Paper

Save time on wiping down the countertop by peeling potatoes, beets and other vegetables over a sheet of paper so you can quickly bundle up the scraps afterword and discard.

Photo: Taste Of Home

6. Embrace The Scraps Bowl

Put a bowl right next to your prep area to limit walking back and forth to the bin or struggling to open the door under your sink to get to the garbage.

Photo: The Amateur Gourmet

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