2013 was a rough year for me. I went through some of my lowest lows and did some heavy soul-searching.
One of the byproducts of having a tough year was that my nutrition plan derailed from 2012 when I had gotten myself back in great shape.
When I get stressed out, the last thing I want to do is eat healthy and spend time preparing meals.
Earlier this year I decided to kick my ass back in gear and start focusing on eating healthier again. The nutrition plan I used in 2012 was incredibly effective, so I knew I wanted to go back to some version of it. There was one problem. Each day of the week starts with eggs for breakfast. I don’t mind eating eggs, but I loathe making them (this is where the photo above comes into play).
My problem with having eggs for breakfast had nothing to do with the eggs. The problem was in the tools I was using to make the eggs. I had this pan that was quite simply a pain in the ass. I tried using grape seed oil, coconut oil, baking spray, butter, and other coating substances, but no matter what I used the pan always ended up crusty and hard to clean. Through trial and error I found that cooking the eggs on medium-low heat worked much better, but then it took me about 10 minutes to scramble eggs (that’s ridiculous) and the pan was still a pain to clean.
To preface the remainder of this post I want to share a little nugget I’m not proud of: I’ve never purchased a pot or pan in 31 years of life. The pots and pans I own were hand-me-downs from my mom, who is an incredibly good cook. I knew she bought quality products and I knew they weren’t cheap.
One day last month I got fed up. My eggs were slightly burnt. The non-stick pan was not being very non-stick. It took way longer than it should have to cook my breakfast and clean up. I wanted to stop eating eggs and find a breakfast alternative.
Then it hit me. The pan I was using was easily 10 years old. I had no clue what it would cost to replace the pan, but I knew it was probably time. So after finishing another grueling battle of scrambling eggs I grabbed my iPhone and went to Amazon.com. I typed in “best non-stick pan” and hit the search button.
The results shocked me. The first result (which you see in the photo above) was a $38 pan with nearly 2,000 positive reviews! $38!?
I bought the $38 Green Earth Frying Pan (aff link) and even opted for $3.99 overnight shipping. Thanks Amazon Prime!
The next day the pan showed up. I read the instructions, even though I was pretty sure I knew how a pan worked, and gave it a quick wash. I put the pan on the stove, added a small chunk of butter (the new pan said it needed less than normal pans), and cracked my eggs in the pan. I grabbed the spatula I normally used to scramble my eggs and a miracle happened. My eggs didn’t stick to the pan. The non-stick pan was actually non-stick!
When I finished cooking my eggs, the pan was nearly 100% clean. No gross crusty eggs. No burnt eggs. A quick rinse and swipe with a soapy sponge and the pan was spotless. My cooking and cleaning time went from 10-12 frustrating minutes to 4-5 frustration-free minutes. An increase in efficiency, but even better, an 100% decrease in my irritation with cooking eggs.
I used to wake up and hate the idea of cooking breakfast. I knew it was going to be time consuming and bothersome. For a mere $38 I fixed this problem.
For some reason I was hesitant to invest in a new tool for the job. I had built up this idea in my mind that the pan I had was the right tool. I also thought good pots and pans had to be expensive. I was wrong on all accounts. The $38 I invested in a new pan has been worth every single penny. Even if that pan only last 6 months (which I’m sure it will last way longer), I’d happily spend another $38 to replace it. The value it brings me in saving time and frustration is through the roof!
I don’t hate cooking breakfast anymore. I don’t loath putting in the work each morning because I have the right tools to do the job.
So how does this apply to your life? Well first off, if you don’t have a good pan for cooking eggs, I can’t recommend the 12″ Green Earth Pan (aff link) enough. Secondly, look at areas of your life where you find yourself frustrated. Maybe it’s managing social media accounts? Your email inbox? Your to-do lists? Your daily schedule? No matter what it is, when you have the right tool, the work becomes way less frustrating. We’re all adverse to change by nature, but if you can force yourself to try new tools, I bet you’ll find yourself becoming more efficient and hating whatever the thing is that you currently hate less.
You don’t need to go out and spend thousands of dollars on every fancy tool out there for every project, but I highly recommend giving new tools a try. I’m willing to bet a $38 pan you’ll be surprised at how trying a new tool can completely change the way you feel about the work you need to do.
Invest in the right tools. The right tools should make your work easier and frustration-free.