What Making Oatmeal Taught Me About Time Management

“Success is where preparation and opportunity meet.” -Bobby Unser 

A small window into my eating habits… (I’m really being vulnerable here)

I used to hate oatmeal. The texture was funny and I found it to be quite bland. Also, there was always something about a bowl of cereal with some nice cold milk poured over it.

But then I had someone give me an oatmeal recipe I absolutely loved. It had chia seeds, almond butter, coconut oil, blueberries, and cinnamon in it.

Free oatmeal photo

Once I tried it, I could get behind it! And so as they say, “breakfast is the most important meal of the day.”

Yet, when I first got into the professional world, I had a difficult time making time for breakfast.

Until one day, I discovered this delicious oatmeal recipe and started wanting to have it for breakfast every day. Just one problem, I would always run out of time in the morning to still throw it together!

So as time goes on, I knew I needed to make a change.

I absolutely must find time for breakfast. It was critical to my health.

So on Sunday evenings I began mixing all of these ingredients into individual containers for the week. I would bring 5 containers of oatmeal to my office on Monday and a pack of blueberries.


This would last me through the week and every day I would successfully have breakfast because I wouldn’t have to scramble to prepare it each morning.

So what’s the moral of the story? 

I love the saying if you’re failing to plan, you’re planning to fail.

I learned that the secret to better time management is preparation. Yet rarely do we take a moment to evaluate our upcoming week and to prepare.

How much time did making all 5 of my oatmeal save me on Sunday instead of making one per day? 

Well…if we were to get specific, each time I make oatmeal might take 5 minutes. So that’s 25 minutes total throughout the mornings of my week. 

That said, when I make 5 at once (I get a little excited with an assembly line style) it may only take a total of 10 minutes! 

I’m no mathematician, but I am pretty sure then that I’m saving 15 minutes every week… 

Which equates to 780 minutes each year….which is 13 hours I’m saving by making my oatmeal on Sunday all at once instead of each day. 

WHEW! You could watch an entire Netflix series in that time. 

So if saving time by making my oatmeal all on Sunday is so fruitful, I can’t imagine how much time I could  save if I implemented this with other tasks. 

By being prepared it truly helps you to multiply your time. 

Preparing for your week on Sunday can help you save time in several ways:

  1. Reducing decision fatigue: When you plan your week ahead of time, you reduce the number of decisions you have to make on a daily basis. This reduces decision fatigue and frees up mental energy for other tasks.
  1. Prioritizing tasks: By planning your week on Sunday, you can prioritize your tasks and activities. This helps you to focus on the most important tasks and accomplish them first, rather than getting sidetracked by less important activities. Therefore, you feel less stressed and rushed.
  1. Simplifying meal planning: Preparing your meals in advance on Sunday can save you time during the week. You can make a meal plan for the week, prepare your grocery list, and do your grocery shopping all in one day. This can help you save time and reduce stress during the week when you’re busy with work or other activities.
  1. Avoiding last-minute stress: When you plan your week on Sunday, you can avoid last-minute stress by preparing for events and activities in advance. For example, you can pack your gym bag the night before, lay out your clothes for work, or make sure you have all the materials you need for a meeting.

Overall, being prepared is also an important aspect of effective leadership because it demonstrates planning and organizational skills, accountability, clear communication, and adaptability.

By being prepared, you can inspire confidence in your team and set the stage for success.

What does God have to say about planning ahead?

The Bible contains several passages that emphasize the importance of planning ahead and being prepared. Here are a few examples:

Proverbs 16:3 – “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.” This verse encourages us to seek God’s guidance in our planning and to trust in Him to help us achieve our goals.

Proverbs 21:5 – “The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty.” This verse emphasizes the importance of being diligent and intentional in our planning, rather than rushing into things without careful consideration.

Luke 14:28-30 – “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’” This passage stresses the importance of counting the cost and being fully prepared before embarking on a project or endeavor.

Overall, the Bible encourages us to plan ahead, seek God’s guidance in our planning, be diligent and intentional in our preparations, and be mindful of the resources and assets we have been entrusted with.

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