Change Your Life By Starting With Your Kitchen

The surprising power of kitchen efficiency

Before we can go into your kitchen, we need to talk about efficiency, and to talk about efficiency we have to talk about geese. Bear with me, for I hope it will become self-explanatory why such a convalescent route is to be taken.

Efficiency, ordinarily defined, is an achievement that boasts maximum output & productivity with minimal waste. So, in order to get our bearings, we need to understand the specter of possibilities. What is the least efficient thing in the universe? This is easy, the answer is clearly me in a grocery store, let’s call that efficiency @ zero. Thankfully I can now order it all in.

Now, it gets a little bit more complicated if we try to define the most efficient item in the galaxy. Physics aside, I would argue that the answer is geese, birds, nature, and the universe itself. You can substitute your own answer, and give it an efficiency rating of 100%.

It then follows that most of our endeavors, activities, tasks, actions fall somewhere on that scale. Some people hone one skill diligently for a lifetime and get it to somewhere in the 90-99%, as a tradeoff - they generally lack in many other skills. Others become generalists and have a huge variety of items at 75%+ (This is me) and a few odd ones a little higher.

See, in order to be totally efficient at anything, and I do truly mean - anything, it takes quite a feat and many lifetimes to achieve. Take engines, for example. When the first diesel engine was patented, it ran at an efficiency rate of 16.6%. It can be precisely calculated, by dividing the amount of physical power we get from it by the amount of energy we spent on fuel. In this case - burning it. 

Ever since these first engines were introduced, humanity started racing towards figuring out how to create the most efficient engine possible. We did everything we possibly could to those machines and now we can run them at 54.4% efficiency. A modern diesel car runs at around 45%, in comparison. 

Once we saw that we can't really increase it by much further - we turned to other types of engines. Hydrogen Engines. Fuel Cell Engines. Eventually, we started thinking of using other types of fuel in order to become more efficient - solar power, wind-power, etc. 

The search for the most efficient engine drove much of the scientific progress of our time, for engines are in almost any technology out there and they, in turn, demand that every technology that surrounds them becomes equally or more efficient. For the most efficient engines, you need the most efficient metals, for most efficient metals, you need the most efficient polishing techniques, for most efficient polishing techniques, you need the most efficient mechanical tools, for most efficient mechanical tools, you need most efficient engineers to design them, for most efficient engineers, you need most efficient universities, for most efficient universities, you need most efficient and modern educational programs, for most efficient and modern educational programs, you need most efficient ways of organizing humans in a working environment, for most efficient ways of organizing a working environment, you need most efficient governments, for most efficient governments, you need most efficient politicians, you catch my drift. 

This brings me to your kitchen. See, your kitchen is just like an engine - it can either be extremely efficient, or extremely inefficient. If you are like most people, it probably lies somewhere in the mid-bottom of the spectrum of efficiency. Mine certainly was at a slightly lower-end, when the idea for this article first came to mind, and please do bear with me to the end.

When I began, I was determined to get my kitchen up and running and to get it to maximum efficiency. One approach was to simply put everything neatly away and clean the surfaces.

However, that would only create external cleanliness & efficiency, and I would then only be happy until I will need to cook, for when I do - the first cupboard that I upon will spring at me like a randomizing slot-machine that might have anything inside from kitchen utensils to forgotten and unpaid bills, to HDMI wires for my projector, to super-foods, to pieces of memorabilia and antique silverware. In my cupboards - you could find anything. 

Naturally, If I was at all serious, I had to go deeper. That means - dig absolutely everything out and get it to as efficient running state as possible. Together with my loving girlfriend, who was my sole inspiration for both this initiative and for everything else in my life, we went through absolutely every single in our kitchen, laid it all out on the floor, and decided to "delete" at least 50%. 

This was our way of saying: we will not cut corners, we will not try to hide our problems and we are not afraid to expose everything, in order to really find what we need to fix in order to get this kitchen working. Both practically and metaphorically speaking. 

Fast-forward six hours - we got rid of more than 50% of our kitchen gear, found everything it's proper and user-friendly location, tried cooking a meal and found our kitchen at least 20% more efficient than it was ever before. 

Yet, that is not the moral of the story, for efficiency on its own is not of great importance. The best trait it has, just like with the engine example, is that it starts trickling down into other parts of life, for increasing kitchen efficiency - we need to be good in everything else too. 

For one, I realized that by the amount of unpaid and forgotten bills, that I needed to really sit down and do a proper audit on my finances. Several health-related letters convinced me that I really ought to start exercising more often. The completely misplaced and unused silo of superfoods got a new spot in the kitchen and is now the centerpiece of our cooking. The things that had no place in the kitchen, were now transferred to other parts of the house and forced us to do a similar revision of "efficiency". That, in turn, motivated us to finally start renovating our house, which we have been putting off for almost half-a-year. We also decided then (this was a few years back), to buy a new house and move out.

That, of course, required us to make more money, so we started a couple of new financially profitable projects. That, in its natural course, required us to read more, network more, think more. Now, we are much better off, much happier, and much more efficient in every aspect of our lives. We have just recently purchased the house of our dreams, gotten rid of all possible debts, and perhaps most importantly - just finished installing our brand new, highly efficient, custom-built, and designed kitchen - complete with a kitchen island, the kitchen golden triangle, and a slot for every piece of equipment. It is gorgeous.

This finally brings me to my point. If you want to get ahead in life and are looking for a place to start - do not look too far, and start with anything as this anything will force you to improve all other aspects of your life, and eventually, you will stumble upon your life path that you will want to take to 100% efficiency. For now, just go and take a thorough look at your kitchen.