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Are you wondering how to stop procrastinating? What if I told you that sometimes it’s good to put off tasks? And how does any of that relate to meal planning? Those questions and more answered in this video.

(Click here to watch on YouTube if you can’t see the embedded player.)

Hi, I’m organizing and lifestyle expert, Lorie Marrero, creator of the clutter diet and this week I was teaching an online course and we were talking about the difference between batch processing and continuous processing. Really quickly, to understand that, if you have a piece of paper that needs to be filed away, you can take that paper, put it in a basket with a stack of there papers that are ready to be filed and you can wait until later and take that whole stack of papers and file them at the same time. That is batch processing. On the other hand if you take that piece of paper and you know you need to file it and you file it right now in the file drawer in the moment and you do that every time you have a paper that needs to be filed that is called continuous processing. They are both equally valid in that example but batch processing can lend itself to procrastination and you might want to know that about yourself and observe whether batch or continuous is more effective for you for that reason.

You can look at lots of tasks this way in your office and in your home and today I really want to talk about how much batch processing is helpful in the kitchen. Certainly your dishes are a continuous process. You want to keep those dirty dishes flowing and going and you want to have the kitchen sink clear but there are a number of things in the kitchen that we can talk about with batching. Menu planning, shopping, and cooking, I really want to cover today. Dinner is not a surprise. We all know that every evening we’re going to want to eat some dinner. It’s like how Christmas is always December 25 every year. Not a surprise. It’s funny because our human behavior is we almost act like it is. It’s six o’clock. As my friend, Aviva has her menu planning service called the six o’clock scramble, there’s a reason for that name. We act like it’s a big surprise. Oh my gosh, we’ve got to figure out dinner.

Let’s be smart. Let’s take smart steps and plan our dinners. We’ve always advocated Sunday planning, where you sit down you plan out the week, you look at who has to be where when and you plan out what those dinners are going to be. You can plan that for the week certainly, and you can also do menu planning for the month. We’ve talked about rotation menus. There’s a resource, like a template for rotation menu planning for the month in our member area at clutterdiet.com. That’s easy. You can have a whole month’s worth of dinners figured out that way, but whether you do it by the week or the month you need to batch up your shopping for the best efficiency to be smart and the only way that you can batch up your shopping and do it once a week is if you plan your menus. Otherwise you’re going to the store multiple times in the week to pick up things you forgot or didn’t plan for or you’re going out to dinner more often than you want to.

Certainly batching up your shopping is a smart step. Then we’ve got cooking. There’s so much you can do with cooking in a batch. I like to batch up my cooking for the week in preparation. I bake several sweet potatoes and I steam a bunch of vegetables and like yesterday, I grilled six or eight chicken breasts for the week that we can cut up and put in salads or whatever we want to do with those. That’s a wonderful way to get ahead with the food prep. You already know what you’re going to have. It’s already figured out. You can also do batch cooking for a month. There are people that have written books called once a month cooking and they had these really elaborate menu plans with these massive shopping trips and this huge one day where you cook all of it and end up with it in the freezer in individual meals at the end of the day. That’s a really big process but it’s very valuable and worth doing if you’re into that idea.

You could certainly Google once a month cooking and you’ll find a lot of resources online for that. I also like to be smart about my freezer. We talk about smart steps. I did a ice cub video recently about all the crazy things you could put in ice cube trays to be smart about that but there are many ways that you can take advantage of batch processing for using your freezer. You can brown a bunch of ground beef in one pound increments and then you can freeze the browned ground beef in individual Zipper bags and then have that already browned for recipes. That’s a great way to get ahead. You can certainly freeze extra pancakes and waffles and things like that.

I’ve made another video about that before, but think about batched processing and what a smart step that could be to change the way your week goes and reduce your stress. We’d love you in the comments talking about your batch processing and all your little tips and tricks in the kitchen. We’d also love to see you on Facebook. We’re over there at loriefacebook.com. That’s the shortcut URL that you can use to find us over there really fast. Follow us there. I have daily content there and we do a Facebook live broadcast now and then as well. Again, loriefacebook.com and otherwise we’ll see you next time. May you always be happy and grateful for having more than enough.