December is a particularly busy time of year, even during a pandemic. Chanukah starts this Thursday night, Christmas, Kwanza and Boxing Day are only two weeks away. This year, many of us are planning new and different ways to celebrate.
Although you may not be hosting gatherings or entertaining as you have in the past, special and/or traditional meals or treats may hold extra meaning this year. Whether you prepare them for your own household or are delivering to nearby loved ones, it requires advance meal planning. That way you won’t be trading holiday preparation stress for a loss of productivity over the next couple of weeks.
When we’re helping a client solve a productivity puzzle, we often look to systems to help simplify, and improve efficiency and effectiveness. Consider implementing some new strategies and a system around meal planning. Helpful right now, but really, all year round.
Meal Planning Made Easy
Does the thought of meal planning, grocery shopping, preparation and cooking stress you out? If so, you are not alone. We have several helpful tips to help put those comforting holiday meals on the table with minimal effort.
Plan Ahead: What sounds good on the menu this week? What traditions are important to you? Write down or print out each dish, the ingredients you need, and the date it needs to be prepared by. Does your family want to change the meal line-up at the last minute after you’ve made your plan and have already shopped for what you need? Simply add their request to the menu for next week or suggest they run to the store themselves.
Consider Local Services: Take advantage of the many grocery delivery services (i.e. Instacart or Amazon), meal preparation services and take-out or restaurant delivery services (Doordash, UBER Eats, etc.) available in many areas now. In this busy time of the year, is this something you can take advantage of to lessen your stress and save some time?
Make it Ahead of Time: There are a wide variety of dishes that can be prepared in advance. If you know you are going to have a busy week, make a meal or two ahead of time. Then, all you have to do is pull it out of your fridge or freezer, heat it up, and presto: instant deliciousness! Think about what you can prepare ahead of time and spread the work out over several days to ensure it all gets done.
Take the Easy Way Out: Give in to take-out for a night or two. Indulge the kids (and the kid in you!) with breakfast for dinner one night. Prepare a simple soup and salad and call it good. You get the idea. Keep it simple, ask for help, relax your standards, if not forever, at least during this time of the year.
Get our guide and banish meal planning stress
As mentioned earlier, when we have a productivity puzzle to solve, systems are often the answer. Save time for what matters most and spend time planning ahead. It will relieve last minute-stress and preserve mental energy for work and other tasks that require your focus.
To help with holiday meals or to have a year-round system for simplifying meal planning, check out our Meal Planning Made Easy system. For less than the cost of ordering a pizza, you can have downloadable templates to help with weekly meal planning and grocery shopping.
It can be hard to stay focused at work and power through your to-do list when you’re thinking about the things that need to be done to prepare for the holidays. When you’re feeling overwhelmed by distractions, it helps to have systems in place.
Want to talk about systems to help you accomplish other goals faster and with greater ease? Book a free Discovery Call to explore how we can help.