By Dan LeFave

Multi-tasking is the easiest way to drain your energy, get distracted and burn out. There is a way to stop it and have a more success and freedom. Watch this short video to find out how.

Dan LeFave is the “Prepare for anything” coach, author,speaker, habit-changer and the creator of the online program Waking Up Productive - 12 Strategic Ways to Multiply Your Productivity While Working Fewer Hours. He has been profiled on radio shows, in magazines, articles and podcasts, from Manhattan to Vancouver. He says, “The thoughts you habitually think have the tendency to actualize themselves in physical conditions.” Visit his website.


  • Carolyne L

    Using your smart phone in the kitchen — speaking of being organized …

    Timer, Timer, Timer – get more than one… and then there’s your grill pan…

    Stop the madness. No fuss. No mess. No waste. Do not overcook things ever again.

    One of the most important tools in your kitchen is your timer. It is your friend. Using your timer wisely and listening to it, and reacting accordingly, will help you produce wonderful tender, melt in your mouth food. Your timer is as important as your ingredients.

    Most stoves have a timer, or at least a clock. If you don’t have a timer, watch your clock carefully. If you have a smart phone, set the timer on the phone. Most people have so much on their minds these days, they rely heavily on technology. Such a simple thing, to be a helper in the kitchen, is the timer on the smart phone. We all multitask. But your food in the cooking process does not take that into consideration. It demands your full attention, and if you are one whose mind gets distracted easily, for sure you will find using a timer helpful.

    But set the sound loud enough so you can’t miss it. Even if you have a timer, you will find you need more than one. And you will learn to listen to its alert.

    If you are cooking a thick steak or pork chop, set the timer for 4 minutes initially while the grill marks happen on the meat, using high heat. If you need 5 minutes, that extra minute will happen while you reach for your tongs. Use tongs, never a fork when working with meat. You don’t want to pierce the meat, or you will lose those most important and delicious, juices.

    At 4 minutes, turn the meat. You will have started the cooking process on high heat, to sear the surface of the meat, get those beautiful grill marks, and seal in the juices. As you turn the meat, turn down the heat to minimum, or lift the grill pan off the burner. The cast iron grill pan will retain its high heat for several minutes longer.

    If you are using the bbq, set one part for high heat and the other at low or medium. Using an oiled clean cloth, (and tongs) oil the grill veins. Set the timer for 3 minutes, and grill the meat to get great grill marks, then turn and move the meat to the less hot portion for another three minutes. Check with a sharp knife to check for doneness. Do not overcook.

    Back to the stovetop burner method: To complete the task, chefs often get their grill marks on, and then use the oven to complete the cooking process. At home, cooks often complete the cooking process on the stovetop, especially in hot weather when they don’t want to heat up the kitchen excessively, preheating their oven.

    Don’t forget, when cooking is complete, let the meat rest for at least 5 to 10 minutes, so the internal juices redistribute. Tent with tinfoil. You won’t have wasted juices on the plate. Carve on the diagonal, thick or thin, as your preference dictates. You will have the best meat plate if you follow these simple instructions.

    And, use your timer. Right away you will notice a difference in your cooking results. I repeat. Your timer is your friend. Your smart phone is a great accessory in your kitchen.

    SMART PHONE – Here’s a useful and important smart phone tip: if you don’t wear your smart phone as a body appendage, you will park your phone in many places when not in use.

    Most users have a cover hand back wrap on their phones, leaving the screen open and accessible. When you “park” your phone on a bathroom counter or elsewhere, turn it open screen face side down. This provides a little extra protection from splashes or for example a hair brush or other in use bathroom item that might fall onto the screen and break it.

    Steam in excess in a slower or while running a hot bath is not a good environment for your phone. But it’s sometimes necessary to keep the phone handy if expecting an important call; so, package wrap your phone in a clean dry facecloth and put it in a safe spot where you won’t accidentally grab the facecloth forgetting your phone is in it. Maybe even put the wrapped phone in the drawer or cupboard. The idea is to keep the smart phone away from the moisture. I shared this idea with an Apple rep during a conversation and she said she would pass it on.


    And then there’s the stovetop grill pan cleanup, with ribs, or veins: how do you clean yours? I can’t bear to see some of the grill pans people cook on. No, you don’t want to wash the grill pan with cleaning materials that leave a (soapy) residue on the cast iron. It’s perfectly okay to clean the bottom of the pan using a granular cleaner (rinse well), the part that comes in contact with the stove top burner; you need to keep the bottom spotless, too, to get the best use from the grill pan when cooking. Use a granular cleaner such as Comet powder, but definitely not for the inside of the grill pan. Picture this: you cook your steak or pork chop and the juice residue is stuck like glue, and will get more so if left too long without cleaning.

    But let’s go back to the beginning. You start with a wonderful fresh grill pan. Pour a little of your favourite cooking oil on the hot grill pan. Careful, ‘cause it’s HOT. Using a clean throw away cloth, or a wad of paper towel, saturated in oil, rub over the grill veins. Now you have a perfect surface on which to cook.

    When you are finished cooking, boil a little water and deglaze, yes, deglaze the grill pan right away. And save those wonderful drippings. Pour the drippings into a waiting wide mouth bowl.

    Put a clean washing dishcloth in the bottom of your sink. Using an edible but cheaper oil, perhaps a cup of oil, (for me, I don’t cook with Canola, but I keep a bottle of it handy, expressly for this use) pour the oil into the grill pan, in the sink. Let it sit overnight or for at least a couple of hours.

    Boil water and dilute the oil in the grill pan and dispose in a trash-able container. Next, sprinkle the grill pan with a half cup of plain ordinary baking soda, and a cup of plain white vinegar. Watch the bubbles. Just like chemistry class.

    Instant, like new. Just look at your grill pan. Again using boiling hot water or your tap at its highest heat, rinse the grill pan completely. Wipe the excess water away using a toss-away or paper towel. Turn on the stovetop burner till it is really hot. Turn it off. Place the grill pan on the turned off hot burner just briefly, to get rid of any excess water.

    Move the grill pan to another burner that has not recently been hot. Any water residue will evaporate and you’re ready to grill, again. Keep all your utensils sparkling clean the safe and easy way. This alone will improve all your results, especially if you use a timer.

    © “From Lady Ralston’s Kitchen: A Canadian Contessa Cooks”

    Carolyne L 🍁

  • Ali Abbas

    Terrible example.