Stop trying so hard and save time – Overprocessing Waste

I dedicate this article to my wife, who seems to make the fanciest desserts on Tuesday mornings at 6am, just so we can have some and maybe give some to the in-laws. The in-laws are dieting btw, their frontal lobe(thinking) doesnt want desserts, even if the hypothalamus wants it. If we just wanted to appease the hypothalamus, why not get any store bought or simple to make treat?

Overprocessing – Doing less to save more time

If you aren’t leaving home(or recording yourself), would you spend time to fix up your appearance? No, that is Overprocessing waste. You have no hair requirements, yet you are meeting a specification required when people see you.

Are you Overprocessing?


Meal quality. The following take time, and its debatable if they taste better than their disassembled counterparts that can be made quicker and in bulk: Perogis/Ravolli/dumplings/samosas/empanadas, homemmade noodes/gnocchi, Sushi, stuffed peppers.

Cutting food: Its easier and faster to cut an onion 5×5 into cubes than 20×20 diced. This one depends on the recipe, but the general idea is that if you can get away with doing 7 cuts instead of 8 cuts, save the time.

Slow or Traditional favorites require modern solutions: When making things like Perogis/Ravolli/dumplings/samosas/empanadas, everyone has their own rules you must abide by. I ignore this in favor of the fastest way to seal this food, which is usually my fingers, fork, or tool. No egg wash, no fancy twist. When doing slow recipes, consider what is actually important: Is it the ancient process? Or the flavors and textures of the food?

A dessert is going to taste great, why try hard: Sugar and fat tastes good, I can relent on special events and holidays. If there was some expectation(a Wedding) for fancy desserts and you are going to DIY it(save money), it should be relatively high quality(spend time). Or if you were going to spend time with family/friends making fancy Christmas cookies one time per year, its a special, pleasurable, occasion rather than something you are trying to save time on.

Bulk food prepping unrelated foods: Sometimes I’ll see videos of someone doing a ‘Sunday Meal Prep’ making like 3 entirely different meals, packing them in neat little containers, and asking me to subscribe. At home, I’ll typically just make regular dinner, but 2-3x the size the family eats. We were going to cook dinner anyway, so we get time savings from only taking out ingredients once and only cleaning up once. You still must spend extra time comes from processing the extra material by cutting and cooking. If you do insist on a ‘Sunday Meal Prep’, consider the time savings are in reducing the taking out and cleaning up, every extra pan dirtied and every extra trip to the cupboard/refrigerator is your lost savings.

The best breakfast? Does it need waffles

I once read a line “>2018 >Still eating for taste”, and it was profound. Not everything you eat needs to taste good, it can taste okay, it can taste bland. During the ~50% of meals I eat at a TV, I’m more invested in the content than the flavor of food. This can also be used for nutritious purposes, instead of adding extra fats and sugars, I’ll eat something healthier and just pick out a great video.


Is Folding/hanging necessary? My dress shirts are hung to eliminate wrinkles, this is value added. My gym shirts are quickly tossed into a drawer, I don’t care about wrinkles when working out. There may be value added in folding clothes for space saving reasons, but if you can get away with unfolded, unhung, 0 effort laundry, you should take the opportunities when they exist.

Who knows if Ironing makes a difference in your life. Will spending 5 minutes a day ironing your clothes get you closer to a promotion or getting a Significant Other? I would probably put that 30 minutes/week(25 hrs/yr) into something with a better return on investment, like reading a non-fiction book that is relevant to your life/field/interests or learning a useful skill/hobby(Sewing if you are really into appearance).

Wash clothes less. Pretty obvious here, only wash when needed. No sweat, no stains, no smells, looks good to be worn again.

wear difficult to process clothes even less. My favorite daily work shirt is a polo that is made out of some non-wrinkle fabric like a polyester spandex blend


“Who wants to get Ice Cream?” Does not need to be said in a quiet and happy house. How much work are you creating for yourself to get everyone dressed, shoes on, and transport yourself? ~10-20 minutes? What does this cost? $10-20? How much joy out of unhealthy calories do you get, ~5-10 minutes? Is it worth it

Do you need to cut your toddler’s food? Toddlers can handle eating things in multiple bites, we don’t need to feed them like babies forever.

Do you need to peel your kid’s oranges and apples? Kids are capable of peeling their own oranges (clementines), apples don’t need to be peeled.

One time my kid insisted on eating the Biryani cold, ok. She ate it all. Easier than warming it up. I’ve been curious to have cold Biryani since.

What’s for lunch? For some reason my family has the tendency to make fresh lunches instead of eating leftovers or ready-to-eat foods like carrots or granola. You can pack lunches in 2-3 minutes, it does not need to be a 15 minute activity.