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10 Kitchen Hacks to Superboost Your Productivity

10 Kitchen Hacks to Superboost Your Productivity

If you like cooking and you spend a lot of time in the kitchen, you should know some tips and tricks that will save you some time and boost your productivity. Here are some useful kitchen hacks that will help you with this!

1. Slice cherry tomatoes in a few seconds

Slicing cherry tomatoes

    Cherry tomatoes are small and slippery, so handling and slicing them can be such an annoying thing to do. If you have a whole bunch of cherry tomatoes to slice, just put them between two plates and slide the knife through the crack between the plates. This way, you will slice all of them in two and avoid finger cuts. Pretty amazing, isn’t it?

    2. Make hard-boiled eggs without water

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    Boiling eggs in oven

      How is this even possible? Well, put your eggs in a muffin tray and place them in your oven, set it to 300 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for half an hour. The results you will get are some hard-boiled eggs with less effort and less mess in your kitchen. Be sure that you don’t forget them in the oven for too long, though. Set your timer to half an hour and get all the other kitchen work done in the meanwhile.

      3. The easiest way to cut soft food

      Cutting with dental floss

        Cutting cheese, cakes and butter can be a pain in the neck. Don’t you just hate it when you manage to bake a perfect cake and you ruin it while trying to cut a slice? Forget about this and use unflavored dental floss for cutting all the soft food in your kitchen. This method is precise and easy to perform. Cut the right lengths, hold the ends tightly between your thumb and index finger (like you are preparing to floss your teeth) and push downwards.

        4. You ran out of cupcake liners?

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        Improvised cupcake liner

          Every kitchen should have a roll of parchment paper. Use it to make custom-made cupcake or muffin liners if you run out of real cupcake liners. You will need a muffin tray, parchment paper and a glass that fits into the holes of the tray. Cut the parchment paper into squares and fix them into the holes by pressing with the glass. Make sure that you cover the muffin tray with oil to avoid sticking.

          5. Easy dish washing

          Vegetable oil in a cup

            If you are using some sticky ingredients to cook a meal, you will have a lot of trouble with cleaning those dishes you used during the preparation. Dough, honey, syrups, chocolate, cake batter, etc., can stick to the walls of your bowl easily, but it won’t be that easy to clean it. Avoid this by greasing the dishes with a little bit of vegetable oil. Cooking spray will also work, but if you ran out of it and don’t have time to run out for some more, a sip of oil will be a perfect substitution.

            6. Keep your greens fresh for days

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            Storing greens with paper towel

              When you wash your greens, you better use them as soon as possible because they tend to go bad in less than two days. In order to prolong their lifespan, you can put a paper cloth or some damp paper into a bag or container where your greens are stored. It will absorb all the excess water that is the main culprit for greens going bad so fast. This is quite a way to save some money and avoid tossing food away.

              7. Semi-freeze meat before slicing and chopping

              Sliced frozen meat

                Slicing and chopping any kind of meat can be hard sometimes. But, don’t worry, this tip will blow your minds. Put the meat into the freezer for half an hour before preparation. Slicing semi-frozen meat isn’t going to cause you trouble and a sharp knife will just slide through it. Don’t keep it in the freezer for more than half an hour or it will take more time to melt afterwards.

                8. Peel garlic quickly

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                Smashing garlic

                  Peeling garlic isn’t the most desirable job ever because it takes too much time and your hands will absorb its smell that can’t be washed off that easily. This isn’t going to be a problem anymore once you read this: you can peel it quickly and easily, you’ll just need a plate, a plastic food container with a lid, and a knife. Cut the top and bottom part of the bulb, press it a bit with your plate while making circle motions, put it in a container and shake well. When you open the container, you will get peeled garlic cloves. Another tip is to use a garlic press to mince garlic without worrying about peeling. This is definitely one of the best cooking tools you can have in the kitchen, and it will help you prepare your meal without making a mess.

                  9. Make the most out of citrus fruits

                  Microwaving lemmons

                    There is nothing healthier than a glass of freshly squeezed citrus juice. If you want to use all the juice from your citrus fruits, you can use the method of microwaving it for 30 seconds. This will soften the fruit just enough to prepare it for squeezing.

                    10. Avoid stains when deseeding pomegranate

                    Deseeding pomegranate in water

                      Pomegranate is delicious and healthy, but when you think of all those stains on your clothes and hands, you might want to give up. There is no need for this, as this trick will help you deseed pomegranates quickly and make less of a mess. Cut the top and bottom off the pomegranate, and then make several vertical slices along the ridges and put it in a big bowl of water. Wash your hands and put them into the bowl. Well, I hope you didn’t think that the water would peel the pomegranate on its own? Start peeling and all the juice will remain in the water, not on your hands.

                      I hope you’ll find these kitchen tips and tricks useful and that they will help you boost your productivity in the kitchen and reduce the time you spend there.

                      More by this author

                      Ivan Dimitrijevic

                      Ivan is the CEO and founder of a digital marketing company. He has years of experiences in team management, entrepreneurship and productivity.

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                      Last Updated on May 21, 2019

                      13 Bad Habits You Need to Quit Right Away

                      13 Bad Habits You Need to Quit Right Away

                      Creating your productivity ritual — a routine that helps you to maintain a peak level of energy can get you the best out of your days.

                      Part of creating your productivity routine involves removing activities that drain you (what I call “kryptonites”), and that includes your bad habits.

                      Like it or not, bad habits are bad for you — mentally, physically, emotionally and even socially in some cases. While some bad habits are harder to quit than others, it doesn’t change the fact that you need to get rid of them. Here are 13 bad habits to quit right away:

                      1. Stress Eating

                      I used to be a serious stress eater. I would eat whenever I felt unhappy, stressed, disappointed, anxious, or even… happy! My eating had nothing to do with being hungry, and everything to do with using food to fill my emotional voids.

                      While eating would comfort me, this feeling was momentary and would disappear right after I was done eating. Instead, what I had left would be the same emotional void that triggered me to eat in the first place (be it unhappiness or stress), a 2,000 excess calorie intake over what I should have eaten for the day, and anger at myself for having stress ate.

                      I’ve since overcome stress eating. I have healthy eating habits and a healthy relationship with food today where I no longer use food as a tool to fill my emotions.

                      If you are a stress eater, don’t fret — here’s how to manage your stress better:

                      How to Manage Stress (A Step-by-Step Guide to Turn Stress Into Success)

                      2. Nail Biting

                      Not only is nail biting unhygienic, it is also socially repelling, leads to dental problems like malocclusion of the anterior teeth,[1] potentially cause stomach problems,[2] and lead to severely deformed fingernails in the long run.

                      People who bite their nails tend to have shorter nails than the average person; their nail plates also experience scarring and may eventually become absent.[3]

                      Understand what triggers your nail biting behavior and replace it with another neutral to positive habit. Make habits to break habits.

                      For example, if you bite your nails when you are stressed, go for a walk or listen to music instead the next time you feel stressed.

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                      3. Hanging out with Naysayers

                      We all know these people — people who play devil’s advocate to every idea you have and every goal you want to pursue. We are already our greatest self-critics, so it doesn’t help when there’s someone beside us, ever ready to pounce on what we say and tear it down.

                      Hang out less with these naysayers and spend more time with supportive people who share constructive feedback instead. You will be much happier this way.

                      Learn how to get rid of naysayers with these 10 Ways to Ignore the Naysayers and Achieve Your Dreams.

                      4. Being with People Who Don’t Appreciate You

                      Haven’t all of us been in this situation before? Trying to please people who don’t appreciate us? Bending over backwards to be there for people when they are never there for us?

                      While we give without expectations of return, we need to draw a line with people who don’t value us because these people damage our souls.

                      Stop spending time with people who don’t appreciate you, and spend more time with people who do instead.

                      Unsure who you should get rid of? Learn about it here: 5 Kinds of Toxic People That You Need to Get Rid of Now

                      5. Smoking

                      Smoking is one of the leading causes of preventable death globally.[4]

                      In just the United States alone, about 500,000 deaths are attributed to smoking-related diseases annually. A recent study estimated that as much as one-third of China’s male population will have significantly shortened life-spans due to smoking! Gender-wise, male and female smokers lose an average of 13.2 and 14.5 years of life respectively — that’s over a decade of life right there.[5]

                      Not only that, smoking causes pre-mature skin aging (i.e. wrinkles), yellowing of teeth, bad breath, and worse of all — jeopardy of the health of people around you, including your loved ones. Studies have shown that non-smokers exposed to second-hand smoke are at risk to many of the health problems associated with direct smoking.[6]

                      Smoking risks

                        6. Excessive Drinking

                        All of us know that drinking too much alcohol is bad for us, but do you know how bad it really is?

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                        According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, drinking too much — be it on a single occasion or over time — can seriously damage your health:[7]

                        • Brain problems: Alcohol interferes with the brain’s communication pathways, making it harder to think clearly and move with coordination.
                        • Heart diseases: Cardiomyopathy – Stretching and drooping of heart muscle, Arrhythmias – Irregular heart beat, stroke, high blood pressure
                        • Liver diseases: Steatosis or fatty liver, alcoholic hepatitis, fibrosis, cirrhosis
                        • Pancreas problems: Pancreatitis, a dangerous inflammation and swelling of the blood vessels in the pancreas that prevents proper digestion.
                        • Different types of cancer: Mouth, esophagus, throat, liver, breast

                        If you drink a lot, perhaps cutting it out right away will be tough. Cut down the number of glasses you drink each time, followed by the number of times you drink a week.

                        If need be, seek help from an AA group — you aren’t alone in this. Change starts from today.

                        7. Eating Junk Food (Including Diet Soda)

                        Junk food — they are everywhere in our society today. From McDonald’s, to KFC, to Burger King, to 24-hour takeouts, junk food such as fries, highly processed burgers and sodas has become a staple in our society today.

                        If you think, “Hey, but junk food is tasty!”, think again:

                        A study by Paul Johnson and Paul Kenny suggests that junk food consumption alters brain activity in a way similar to addictive drugs like cocaine and heroin.[8]

                        “After many weeks with unlimited access to junk food, the pleasure centers of rat brains became desensitized, requiring more food for pleasure.”

                        And you wonder why you seem to crave fast food when you just had some the day before?

                        While it may not be possible to remove junk food completely from our diet right away, we can reduce our junk food consumption starting today. Instead of soda, opt for a fruit juice (fresh juice, not the carbonated kind) or mineral water. Instead of fries, switch to mashed potato, a salad, or rice (many food outlets allow for this today). Instead of a fried meat patty, go for a grilled one.

                        Where possible, opt for healthy food joints like salad bars and delis as opposed to fast food outlets. Every little step goes a long way.

                        Here’re some healthy snacks ideas for you: 15 Healthy Snacks You Should Always Have At Home

                        8. Eating Too Much Red Meat

                        There has been conclusive evidence that consumption of red meat increases the risk of colorectal cancer; and suggestive evidence that it increases the risk of oesophageal cancer, lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, and endometrial cancer.

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                        In addition, some studies have linked consumption of large quantities of red meat with breast cancer, stomach cancer, lymphoma, bladder cancer, lung cancer and prostate cancer![9]

                        Personally, I’m a vegetarian so I don’t consume red meat, but for those of you who consume red meat, do watch out and limit your intake — better still, cut it out of your diet. World Cancer Research Fund recommends limiting intake of red meat to less than 300g (11 oz) cooked weight per week, “very little, if any of which to be processed.”

                        Of if you’re thinking about becoming a vegetarian, check out this guide: 5 Practical Tips For Starting a Vegetarian Lifestyle

                        9. Watching Too Much TV

                        I stopped watching TV since eight years ago and I have never regretted it. Every once in a while I will switch on the telly to see what is on, and then I will switch it off because it’s just the same boring shtick over and over again.

                        Watching TV, particularly well-written dramas, can be a good way to unwind. However, remember that TV isn’t your life.

                        Spending three hours every night watching TV will not change your life for the better. Rather, using that time to reflect on your life, take stock, and take action on your goals will.

                        It’s not easy to remove TV from your daily routine right away, but follow these 6 Steps To Remove TV From Your Life.

                        10. Being Late

                        Not only is being late being rude to others, it also means that you’re always rushing from one place to another, playing catch up in your agenda, and having to apologize to every person you meet.

                        Stop being late and not being punctual, but practice being early instead. Target to arrive 15 minutes earlier before any appointment and bring along something to do in those 15 minutes (or longer if the other person turns out to be late). Then you can stop playing catch up and stay ahead in life.

                        Learn more tips about how to be more punctual here: How to Be On Time Every Time

                        11. Being in Bad Relationships

                        Are you always dating the wrong guys/girls? Do you end up with jerks all the time? Well, you may not be able to stop yourself from meeting bad partners but you can certainly stop yourself from furthering contact with them, spending time with them, or even… entering into a relationship with them.

                        I used to invest myself in this guy who was nothing but toxic for me. After a good five months of experiencing nothing but getting burned over and over again, I realized that he was a total waste of my time and I deserved better. I decided to cut him off, and it was soon after that I met my soulmate.

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                        Learn about why you shouldn’t stay in a bad relationship and how to deal with it if you’re in one: Why Trying Hard to Stay in an Unhappy Relationship Is Not Love, but Fear

                        12. Leaving Things to the Last Minute

                        Burning the midnight oil isn’t fun — it’s exhausting.

                        Those of you who got through college by burning the midnight oil would have learned this the hard way. Not only is it damaging for your body, it is also mentally draining as you’re constantly in a hyper-tense mode, feeling anxious about whether you can finish your work on time.

                        Start today on a new note. Rather than react to your deadlines, be proactive about them by planning ahead, identifying what needs to be done for the week, and getting things done in advance.

                        By staying ahead of your tasks, you can also use your extra time to plan ahead in your life and get more things done.

                        Take a look at this guide and learn how to stop procrastinating: Procrastination – A Step-By-Step Guide to Stop Procrastinating

                        13. Focusing on the Negatives

                        In every situation, there are two ways you can react: zoom down to the problem areas and crib about how things aren’t the way you want, or celebrate the areas that are going well and work on making everything better.

                        Many of us see the importance of doing the latter but in practice, we do the former. Why though? Criticizing and focusing on the negatives is easy but it doesn’t empower nor inspire us to be better.

                        Make a change — for every negative encounter you run into, I challenge you to identify three things that are good about it. Practice doing this for one week, and by the end of the week you’ll find that your first instinct is to think positive, not negative.

                        And here’re even more ways to help you stay positive: 11 Tips for Maintaining your Positive Attitude

                        The Bottom Line

                        So here you find the 13 most common bad habits and their consequences on your mind and body. The good news’ you can quit them all.

                        Just spot out your own bad habits and take my suggestions to quit them. Then you’ll find your life a lot healthier and happier!

                        Need more tips to break your bad habits? Check out these articles:

                        Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

                        Reference

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