Our brain, the center of our executive functioning, requires fuel. It takes energy to power our brain and that energy originates in food. That’s why I include planning menus as part of good personal time management.
In our busy lives, figuring out what’s for dinner is often left to the last minute like, “I’m hungry. Where is food?” Not having a menu plan leads to multiple trips to the grocery store in a week (a waste of valuable time) which often leads to impulse buying, which can lead to wasted food (a loss of valuable money) that rots in the refrigerator. Or people are constantly eating out which may not be the healthiest of choices, nor the most economical.
The solution? As you plan your week, also plan menus for the week. I personally love to cook and eat well-balanced meals. My family has always sat down to dinner together.
To do this, I designed a form for a week of menus and put columns on it for the shopping lists, which I then cut off and take the store. I post the week’s menus on the refrigerator so when I am tired after work I can remember what it was I planned to make, ensuring that I use the perishable food I bought. My mother’s plan was to have a set of 3 x 5 cards with menus on them. She’d rotate through the cards over a few weeks. Some people are using online menu planning programs like that at Relish.com.
My husband has always done the bulk of the grocery shopping, for which I’m forever grateful, but if he didn’t, I’d use a home delivery service from a market. I know that I can easily spend more on impulse buying then the fee for delivery. And it would save me the time I’d spend driving to the store and wandering around marveling over the different kinds of vinegars, olive oils, and cheeses etc.
The Christmas Day vegetarian brunch you see pictured here was made easy by first planning the menu. We shopped ahead and then prepared many of the items, or parts of them, a day ahead. This planning made for a stress-free Christmas morning! A rarity these days.
So, do your brain and your body a favor (and your pocketbook too), and make menu planning a part of your weekly time management plan.
Marydee Sklar is the president of Executive Functioning Success and the creator of the Seeing My Time Program®. She is an educator and author of three books on executive functions, as well as a trainer and speaker. Marydee has more than twenty-five years of experience working with students and adults with executive function challenges.
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