The process of cooking — that by which raw ingredients are transformed into deliciousness — may technically happen only after the oven heats up, or the pan on the stove gets hot, but it really begins before that. It starts the moment you walk into your kitchen and decide to cook something.
Before you pour a little oil into the pan and turn on the stove, stop. Do these five things first, and your cooking session will certainly be less stressful and way more enjoyable. (Seriously — I have started cooking before these things were in place, and I can attest to my stress levels. I wish better things for you.)