What Is Time In Action?

What is time in action? It's basically where you list the stuff that you have to do for the day, but you work backwards. According to Brian Hay, a chef and culinary instructor at Austin Community College...

According to Brian Hay, a chef and culinary instructor at Austin Community College and a sommelier who also teaches for the International Sommelier Guild , time in action is "basically where you list the stuff that you have to do for the day (of your dinner party), but you work backwards".


He goes on to explain in detail: "So for instance, say I am throwing a party on Friday, and I am serving people at 7:30. The first course is going to go out at 7:30, which means I want to have everything ready by about 6:30 because people always arrive early just to see what you are doing. All of the food is going to have to be ready at 6:30. This means every single course has a certain time that it has to be done by. The roast beef has to be done by this time. The rolls have to be done by this time. I need to start the rolls at 2 o'clock so that they will be ready at 5:30. That means I have to have everything unpacked by 1:30 so I can get myself organized. And if I have to spend a half hour doing unloading, I have to do all my shopping by 1:00."


Time in action is the best way for making sure that everything will be ready when you want it to be. It's planning the night of your party in reverse and then of course executing your list in the correct order. If you are planning an elaborate party that is going to require more than one day of actual preparation time, make sure your time in action plan includes this. You should include things such as making, addressing, and mailing invitations plus shopping lists including not only what you need but also where you will be getting it. Elaborate or theme parties may require a bit of running around and you don't want to be doing these kind of errands at the last minute only to find out the store is out of what you wanted. Use your time in action schedule to plan ahead and avoid any mishaps.

Hay says, "By doing that time in action, it basically keeps your mind straight on what you are going to do and what time you have to do it. So if you are running behind, you might be able to adapt or at least track the day. You also won't forget things. One of the tricks that I do now is keep a play card on my wrist like a quarterback to refer to. My schedule goes on a card and that goes into one of those plate holders and I use that all day long to keep referring to where I should be, what I should have done. It really keeps me on track of what I am supposed to do for the day. And I have already planned it out, so if I have thought about all those elements, I should be organized."

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