Regardless of where you work– inside or outside the walls of your home –I address the home environment when formulating a productivity strategy. Why? Because home responsibilities impact our overall time management, and the home environment greatly influences our mindset. If you’re looking to boost your personal productivity, home is a great place to start.
Manage Your Time & Optimize Your Mindset
Effective time management is key to boosting personal productivity. Today you’ll find a plethora of smart home technologies specifically designed to save time, add convenience, and enhance your quality of life. Before we begin, a word of caution: smart home technology often requires some upfront planning, video watching, and education to garner full benefits. The examples I include are but a smattering of what is possible today. Let’s use my client “Jill” as our example of how smart home technologies help her throughout the day.
A Narrative Featuring Smart Home Technologies
Dressed and ready to tackle her day, Jill reviews her calendar. She’s got an onsite client meeting at 2 p.m. Her son has school. Her husband is traveling back from a business trip. He should be home at 7 p.m. Jill wants to make her husband’s favorite meal, roast, for family dinner.
As the automated feeder gives Fido his allotted kibble, Jill pulls out her smart crock pot, puts in the roast and vegetables, then adds broth. After tossing a now-empty container in the trash, she asks Alexa to add salt to her shopping list. She sets the timer to cook for 8 hours, inputting a ready time of 6:30 p.m. Satisfied the appliance will take it from there, she leaves the kitchen, after directing Alexa to shut off the lights, via her wi-fi enabled bulbs.
Next, she walks to her office to prepare for her presentation, pleased to find her lamp on and the room lit as she likes it, thanks to the digital timer on the wall outlet. As she begins her work, the familiar hum of the robotic vacuum begins, as it does every day, right at 10 a.m., ensuring the floors are tidy.
An hour in, she’s interrupted by the doorbell. Grabbing her phone, she opens an app and sees it’s a salesperson. No time for that, she concludes, then continues working without ever leaving her office.
At 1:15, she heads out for her meeting, knowing her son will get in the house safely after bus drop off using the digital lock to gain entry. Parking the car, she gets a call from her neighbor, who is hoping to borrow her leaf blower. “No problem,” she says, “I’ll open the garage for you now.” Which she does, via the app on her phone.
Following the successful presentation, before driving home, Jill pulls up an app tied to a home camera to check in with her son, who has begun his homework. “How old was George Washington when he took office?” he asks, needing the information for an assignment. “Ask Alexa,” Jill suggests, knowing he’ll get the facts. Then, using the app for her lawn service company, she requests mulch as an add-on for her next scheduled service. Seeing she has photo confirmation of the last lawn service; she pays the invoice with one click.
Arriving home, Jill finds dinner ready. As the family sits down to eat, Jill asks Alexa to play some music. After dinner, Alexa helps the family find a show to watch, once they’ve reviewed the first 10 minutes of the nightly news the DVR captured earlier. As the sun sets, the porch lights kick on, triggered by the timer-integrated light switch, which will shut off the lights tomorrow morning at sunrise.
Later, climbing into bed, Jill finds the room comfortably cool, her smart thermostat having triggered the lower temperature for overnight hours. As she sleeps, getting the rest she needs for the following day, the digital sprinkler system waters the yard, adjusting duration based on recent rainfall.
The theme of my narrative is straightforward. Smart home tech and tools enable us to make the most of our time and help us enjoy the time we have. Where can you use home technology to boost your personal productivity?