A routine is great when it creates opportunities for more time to do even more things. These last few weeks, my schedule has been unpredictable which means all kinds of work and creative endeavors have been coming up last minute. Being my own boss, I’ve noticed, while it’s great, has also caused some strain in my weekday schedule. My health is also a full-time job but during the week, it’s difficult to make time for cleaning, laundry, taking care of my stinky guinea pig (whom I do adore and love, mind you) and preparing, cooking and cleaning after you finally eat.If you’re an entrepreneur, then you probably get what it’s like to feel as though you’re doing too much juggling and worrying about not having enough room in your schedule to do the things you actually want to do. This is why this weekend routine is so rewarding. Imagine having all your meals prepared and stacked neatly in your refrigerator. I imagined seven days straight of not having to clean my kitchen or hardly be in it at all. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are already waiting for you to eat without having to spend an hour prepping it and then another hour cooking everything.Not everyone has the time to or can cook, I get it. There are people who despise cooking and I used hate it, too, until I turned it into more of a relaxing experience. I don’t love chopping vegetables while hot oil spits in my face over a hot stove. Instead of forcing yourself to eat out because you don’t want to cook breakfast, lunch and dinner, then this routine will ease your stress and anxiety. And, if you just spend Sunday cooking, you’ll find that is such a fun thing to do when you’re not rushing and leaving yourself susceptible to third degree burns because you are rushing.
At first, I dreaded the idea of cooking a bunch of meals in one day until I got going. Then, after about an hour, cooking felt more like a meditation. Five hours passed and didn’t realize five hours went by. I’d forgotten how much fun cooking was but whenever you omit the pressure of time, you can enjoy the process and merely engross yourself in it. I wasn’t thinking about any other nonsense garbage. I was only focused on getting food in containers and getting in a groove.
Since I have been using Sunday to meal prep all my recipes and plan the next week, I’ve experienced a colossal amount of benefits and changes to my health, stress levels and overall wellbeing. Cooking only once a day as opposed to several times a day (and while in a hurry) is something you can do with a loved one or just on your own. Here are four transformations I’ve noticed since I’d started this weeks ago:
- More Time: There is not enough time in a day, I’d always say. But when I started preparing my meals each Sunday, I’ve been able to accomplish twice as much work and get jobs done without feeling the need to constantly scramble. At certain hours of my workday, I’d find myself questioning what to have for lunch and or dinner. The meals being premade has eliminated this distraction. And, I’d have more than one container of recipes to choose from. Now, with these recipes planned out and made, no food is wasted and I have more room in my day to create!
- Less Stress: Doing this meal prepping on the weekends makes cooking more enjoyable because you can go slow and really delve into the process. Amidst a hectic workweek, the last thing I or anyone wants to do is bust out pots and pans when you’d rather be relaxing on the couch or do whatever else you’d like. When I meal prep, come 12:00 noon when I’m in the throes of an art project, I head on over to my fridge, pull out a container(s) and reheat my homemade recipe. The only cleaning I have to do after, is, NONE! I just put the dishes in the dishwasher after I finish eating and head back to work. By then, only a half hour or forty minutes has passes of doing nothing but eating (subtracting the cleaning).
- Efficient Workflow: A friend asked me a while ago, “When you’re so busy, don’t you just not eat or eat later in the day and skip breakfast or lunch?” Yeah, I’ve done that. I have been dealing with something called Syncope, which is feeling faint due to low blood pressure. If you have heart disease or any other condition that affects blood pressure, skipping meals is not wise. You need a consistent balance of proteins, sodium, potassium and sugars. Yes, sugars, too! Working endless hours while you’re starving isn’t going to guarantee efficient workflow. In fact, working while hungry causes the same issues as working while sleep deprived. Having your meals ready for consumption promotes taking healthy breaks in your workday without abolishing your workflow.
- A Calmer Mind: My work isn’t just my work, it’s my lifeline. I draw because I want and need to. I sew because it’s so engaging and healthy for your brain but I’m obsessed with the process. Creativity is the best form of happiness and I have found that this is where my happiness lies: in my art. When I am drawing, I’m fully in the present moment and am fully engrossed in every second of what I’m producing. It really always is about the process more so than the finished product. Working and being creative means your mind is calmer and quieter. You’re not obsessing over anything and are merely focused on the now, on doing. Quieter thoughts leaves your mind with more room to conjure inspiration or simply relax. This is an obvious transformation I’d noticed having my meals premade in advance.
Last Sunday, I spent up to three hours prepping ingredients and entrees. For a few months now, I’ve been using Sunbasket which delivers the ingredients with their recipes written out to your door! These recipes are so delicious they feel like desserts. Every recipe I’ve tried, even when in doubt, I’ve loved.I’ll prepare all the ingredients once the box arrives so nothing goes bad or loses its freshness. I begin with the most difficult ingredients, such as sweet potatoes, and work my way towards the easier, less laborious ones to cut and chop. Using this system slices the time spent in my kitchen in more than half! Sunday should be about food, relaxation and making your life during the week a lot less stressful. Plus, with this pandemic getting worse, it looks like I won’t be leaving my home or traveling for a long, long, long, long while.
My weekends are for doing the things I don’t get to do during the week. During the weekdays, now I have the ability to do what I really like for longer periods. Now that we’re in this pandemic, I make an effort to spend at least twenty minutes each evening disinfecting surfaces and straightening up. On Sunday, as I cook, I know it’s going to be a successful workweek ahead with more time to actually finish my work without the distractions and wondering, “What am I going to have for lunch? What am I going to have for dinner?” It’s all there and ready. A bonus: you’ll also find that you get to do things you enjoy throughout the week instead of doing all that scrambling and rushing.
Even if you work Monday-Friday early morning into the late afternoon, you, too, can benefit from this routine. This YouTube channel I follow, which covers meal prepping and cooking tips, I not only follow, it has saved my life in numerous ways. I also follow other food based channels where I learned all my quick tricks in the kitchen to make cooking smoother and faster. These channels are godsends and have made me love cooking. Believe me, I once hated it, but now, I look forward to it.
What other routines do you guys practice that simplify your life? Definitely share them in the comments below. Thanks for stopping by and be on the look out for some awesome announcements, hopefully, coming in the next few weeks!