Time and energy management in food preparation:

Time and energy management in food preparation:
(i) Meaning of time and energy management
(ii) Tasks that require time and energy management
(iii) Importance of time and energy management
(iv) Guidelines on time and energy management


DATE: ___________


TOPIC: Time and energy management in food preparation

  • Meaning of time and energy management
  • Tasks that require time and energy management
  • Importance of time and energy management
  • Guidelines on time and energy management

SUBTOPIC 1: Meaning of time and energy management, Tasks that require time and energy management

  Time and energy are the resources used by men to accomplish tasks. The management of these two resources is necessary in food preparation in order to accomplish more tasks at a given time and also reduce the amount of time/energy spent on a given task

Meaning of Time management

This is a set of principles, practices and skills used by a home-maker to half accomplish a given task within a given time. When time management is learn, it helps to manage time effectively and make the most use of it. Time is a resource that cannot be stored or saved. Any misuse time cannot be retrieved in order words, time is finite, and there are 24hours in a day none of which can be reclaimed. Time can be compared to a flowing stream that passes without stopping.

Energy management: this will be viewed as human energy management. Human energy management is the technique applied by a home-maker in order to manage and control ones level of personal energy. Unlike time management, it can be stored or save. Human energy is within an individual and cannot be bought as each individual is endowed with it. Human energy is our currency for life because without it, we cannot perform or enjoy doing much, so many people feel tired, over-whelmed and unfulfilled in their ever-increasing busy lives while so many people gain more time and more energy.


Time and energy may be wasted if labour is not properly planned. As quantum physicist would attest, or simply put, when you manage energy, you are in fact, managing time. Every task to be performed requires time and energy management. In food preparation, tasks involved are;

  1. Purchasing
  2. Transport and delivering
  3. Refrigeration
  4. Food preparation
  5. Food service
  6. Washing and clearing away
  7. Purchasing:

Purchasing of goods require human energy. For effective shopping, one should make a shopping list. A shopping list helps to reduce worry and indecision. Time and energy management also helps to minimize impulsive buying. When purchasing food materials, it is wise to buy food in season as they are available, cheaper, and fresher and of maximum flavour and colour. This helps to reduce the stress of working round the market to look for food items to purchase.

  1. Transport and delivery:

Food materials should be delivered on time to prevent spoilage.

  1. Refrigeration: food materials are refrigerated so as to preserve them for future use or may be prepared immediately.
  2. Food preparation: for proper time and energy management, the home-maker should observe the following.
  3. Arrange equipment properly to reduce extra movements while working.
  4. Plan menu in advance to reduce indecision and mental fatigue
  • Use labour saving devices to reduce time and energy spent on a given task.
  1. Use correct working heights. Working height should be of normal reach. E.g. dumping, dish washing, chopping should be done on the table etc.
  2. Food Service: if food is well prepared and not properly served, a customer may reject the email. Therefore, meal service is very important, in food preparation. Meal service takes quality time of a home-maker. Food service requires human energy. The caterer may use a trolley to transfer food from the kitchen to the service area to reduce time and energy spent on that task.
  3. Washing and clearing away: it is a very important task in food preparation. Emphasis is always laid on this aspect of food preparation. When washing up is not done, food preparation has not ended. To save time and energy, washing up and clearing should be done as the food preparation is progress.


Time therefore, it is very important and should be managed properly if time is well managed, it can lead to the following:

  1. Help to set up priorities
  2. Help to make conscious choices, so that more time can be spent on things that are important and valuable
  • Reduce indecision and worry.
  1. Helps one to be more productive
  2. It helps one to be more creative and to do the right thing at the right time.
  3. Time can also be saved for rest.
  • It helps to establish routine in the home
  • Help one to become more productive.


When energy is properly managed, more tasks can be accomplished in a shorter time without much fatigue. The following are some of the importance of energy.

  1. Energy management helps to conserve energy.
  2. It helps to increase the worker’s interest in a given task.
  3. It minimizes the amount of time spent on a given tasks.
  4. It eliminates fatigue.
  5. It encourages work to be carried out in the best possible way.
  6. It aids in the elimination of unnecessary movements.



Time is a special resource that cannot be stored or saved for use at a latter part of the day. It is not a skill but the core skill upon which everything else in life depends. There are some guidelines that can help one to work more effectively.

  1. Apply the 80/20mprinciple and ask questions: the 80/20 rule states that 20% of your tasks account for 80% of the value in your to do list. Endure prioritization to identify and pay off tasks. Asking questions can be an effective tool to help you stay on track. Whenever you are unsure of what to do next, just ask yourself “what is the most valuable use of my time right now?
  2. Use your energy cycles: we all have equal time in a day. There are times we feel active and other times refers to the highest energy time during the day. Find out your peak times. Use these to your advantage. Get mentally challenging tasks done during your peak time. During the non peak time take care of low priority routine or task that is none challenging
  3. Analyse your tasks and group them: If you have several work that are routine, like making phone calls, checking e-mails, etc and you likely have some that need plenty of brain storming or writing. In order to use your time wisely, try to perform certain tasks in batches. For example, sort out the papers on your desk and file at the same time.
  4. Avoid attempting to do much: if you spread your time and energy over too much different projects, you may not be able to make meaningful progress on any of them. Good time management often requires that you focus your time on a lesser set of objectives
  5. Utilize “productive procrastination”

Procrastination does not necessarily have to be a bad thing if you use it to delay working on low priority that may not need to be done at all. Wait until a task becomes important enough to deserve your time before you wok it.

  1. Urgent versus important tasks: A key principle in time management is that important things are not always urgent; and urgent things are not always important. Learning to distinguish between the two is essential for effective time management. Weekly planning helps you to balance projects with long-term importance against more pressing matters.
  2. Make time for important projects: Schedule regular time to works not important e.g. long term projects. If a project is important and not urgent, you run the risk of neglecting it unless you make regular time for it.
  3. Avoid wishful thinking: wishful thinking can ruin any well laid out plan. Avoid this by identifying risks and learning how to place realistic expectation on your projects schedule room for error and unexpected problems.
  4. Learn to relax: working hard is important but you also need to take time to relax and enjoy yourself.
  5. Don’t over schedule: when you over schedule your days, it can cause unnecessary stress. Hen creating weekly plan and scheduling appointments always create room for error. Make a list of your regular tasks and then sort these into appropriate categories.
  6. Delegating authority: By delegating task, you have more time to accomplish other important task. A primary concern is that you should only delegate, if there is a person who is skilled enough to do the task at hand.


It is very frustrating when you cannot follow things that are important that you want to do. It is good for you to be as active as possible and you can stay alive, if you use good pacing techniques. When you also learn to maintain a comfortable breathing pattern while you work, you will be able to do more. When you work more efficiently, you reduce the train on your heart and cardiovascular system, minimize fatigue, shortness of breath and back pain.

Here are some techniques and guidelines to reduce any food preparation task.

  1. Sit to work: For task taking a long time, use a stool or chair to minimize fatigue
  2. Adjust working heights: Eliminate unnecessary bending. Use better working height e.g. a table top 2inches below the elbow. Raising the weight of the table makes chopping easier. Table bed or chair legs can be extended with wooden blocks. Extenders with bolts can be found in some catalogues e.g. dustpan with a long hand eliminates bending.
  3. Avoid lifting and use wheels for transport: It is good to have utility cart to use in most household activities e.g. place plate on the cart and distribute food to all members of the family.
  4. Eliminate unnecessary task: Unnecessary extra trips by planning ahead. Use throw always such as paper plates when you want to save washing time. Let dished dry in the rack
  5. Easy flow of work: During meal preparation, take all the necessary items from the refrigerator by cart to the sink area. Do all of the preparations there, more on to the stove and when the cooking is completed proceed to the table.
  6. Use planned rest periods: When you know a task will take a long time or is usually fatiguing, plan to take breaks, if this is difficult to do, create a “breath centre” with reading or hand work so you do not feel that you are wasting your time.
  7. Relax: Nervousness and anxiety consumes energy, cause muscle tension, headache, backache, and put more stress on the heart. Minimize anxiety by planning ahead, leaving enough time to complete tasks and rest afterwards. Only plan to do each day what you can realistically accomplish.
  8. Organize storage and work areas: excessive bending causes back strain and increases fatigue. Store item in the area where they are used most.
  9. Keep cool: Working in a room that is warm is less efficient for the body than working in a cool place because extra energy must be expended by the heart and lungs to cool the body, so do more stressful activities such as gardening in the cool part of the day. Avoid excessively hot baths or Jacuzzi, as they may cause fatigue, dizziness, or shortness of breath.
  10. Pace yourself: Give yourself adequate time to complete a food task to avoid rushing. Take frequent short rests and breaks before you really tired.
  11. Make task easier: Most of us waste an amazing amount of energy every day. Finding easier ways to do things is not laziness. It is working smart.
  12. Space your activities: Break some big job into smaller steps. Put restful activities between more strenuous ones.
  13. Think of energy as money in the bank: if you continuously overspend, you will always be running in the red. If you under spend, you will not be making the best use of your resources.
  14. Maintain a comfortable breathing pattern while you work. You may need to stop during strenuous activity and take some deep diaphragmatic breathes i order to decrease shortness of breath.


  1. Why do you have to use good spacing techniques
  2. State 2 guidelines to be observed by a home-maker for proper energy management.
  3. Explain the term use your energy cycle.
  4. State 3 guidelines to be observed by a home-maker for proper time and energy management.
  5. Why do you plan labour
  6. State four simple techniques that can be employed to reduce food preparation task.
  7. Mention three tasks that are involved in time and energy management.
  8. What can time be compared with?
  9. Define time and energy management.
  10. How can you save time for rest
  11. Outline two importance of time management.
  12. Explain the term “use your energy cycle”
  13. Explain the following:
  14. Delegating authority
  15. Making time for important project


  1. ______ may be wasted when layouts are not properly planned. (a) human resource (b) time and energy (c) energy and task done (d) time and task done
  2. Excessive bending causes ________. (a) back strain (b) head ache (c)waste pain (d) night blindness
  3. Avoid wishful _______. (a) dance (b) talking (c) thinking (d) jugging
  4. Nervousness and anxiety consume __________. (a) energy (b) time (c) joy (d) stress
  5. Eliminate unnecessary ________. (a) task (b) food (c) idea (d) idleness
  6. Which of these management can be stored or saved:
  • Energy management (b) time management (c) personal management (d) individual management
  1. __________ is the currency for life. (a) personal energy (b) time (c) management (d) human energy
  2. _________ is a resource that cannot be stored or saved. (a) currency (b) time (c) energy (d) management
  3. __________ require time and energy. (a) human being(b0 management (c) all task (d) individual management
  4. Which of the following is a tree time? (a) time not devoted to work or sleep (2) time devoted to sleep (c) time devoted to leisure (d) time devoted to job
  5. Time is a special resource that cannot _________ for later use. (a)store (b) reach (c) waste
  6. Energy management eliminates. (a) fatigue (b) hunger (c) waste (d) bulling


– Evans food and nutrition for senior secondary schools book2 by F.A. Bajare et al; Evans Brothers Nigeria Limited.

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