There is no reason why a busy family schedule, late nights at the office, or a whirlwind series of business trips should cramp your entertaining style (or lack thereof, even). Sitting down to a meal or even a beer or glass of tea doesn't have to be stressful or take months of planning. In fact, it should be just the opposite. Instead of feeling like drudgery, getting together with friends should be fun, liberating, and of course, easy.
You could say that a primary rule, when it comes to getting together with friends, is to make people your priority. That said, for us at The Daily Meal, good food and drink go hand-in-hand with hanging out with friends. That's why many of us always have a bottle of wine or whiskey on hand and some nuts in the cabinet, cookies in the jar, or even some store-bought snacks in the freezer (hey, not everyone can cook from scratch all the time).
Readiness aside, there are a few more strategies to consider. Have a signature, foolproof dish — no need to be fancy. That way, even if you have just five hours notice, hosting guests for a quick bite can be a reality. And don't ever be embarrassed to ask guests for help, even though you're the one hosting. If opting for a make-your-own spread of burritos rather than doing everything yourself is enough to ward off a kitchen disaster, and then go for it.