Time is our most precious resource — and our most limited. It seems we’re busier than ever, endlessly trying to balance work, kids, hobbies, side hustles and friends. If you aren’t careful, important details can slip through the cracks — think bounced checks and missed appointments.
This is where automation can help. By letting technology handle certain tasks for you, you can effectively minimize stress, manage everyday tasks and save time for things that really matter. Plus, you’ll be more productive, creative and consistent, inevitably laying the groundwork for lasting, positive habits.
So, without further ado, here’s how to automate – and truly enjoy — your life.
1. Shop Online
Online shopping has experienced a major boom since the COVID-19 pandemic. Just two years ago, grocery delivery and pickup sales totaled $1.2 billion. Now, sales total $5.3 billion, indicating the increasingly widespread adoption of online grocery shopping.
Why not automate your life, too, by signing up for grocery delivery or in-store pickup? Use the same list each week to simplify the process or purchase a subscription from various companies to receive automatic refills on pet food, feminine hygiene products and even fresh produce. This way you don’t have to think about — or waste time — periodically placing orders.
Price monitoring and comparison tools like Honey and ShopSavvy can also help you find the best deals on everything from school supplies to the latest tech gadgets. Use travel fare aggregators to find the cheapest flights and rentals, too. Sign up for price drop alerts so you never miss a sale.
2. Utilize a Calendar
Automation and technology are supposed to improve processes, not complicate them. Yet, many people still consider calendars confusing. However, much of their frustration is due to user error. Instead of setting automatic reminders and syncing them across devices, they input important appointments and promptly forget all about them.
Use your calendar the right way by automating daily, weekly and monthly reminders to complete routine tasks. This way you don’t have to spend time or energy trying to remember to do them. You can also use a time booking service in accordance with your digital calendar to schedule appointments without all the back and forth correspondence. Sync your schedule across your phone, desktop and laptop so you never miss a meeting reminder.
Blocking off time for mindless tasks is also important. Scheduling an hour or two to watch TV, surf the web or scroll through social media will help you fully relax on your off-time so you can be more productive while you’re on the clock. Plus, it’ll help you make more mindful decisions about how you spend your downtime.
3. Invest in Smart Devices
The average American dedicates nearly 24 hours to cleaning and housework every month. Just imagine what you could do with a whole day if you weren’t sweeping floors and disinfecting door knobs. Luckily, you don’t have to imagine when you invest in smart home devices.
Smart devices are embedded with artificial intelligence, which can automate shopping, energy savings, cleaning, and daily tasks. The most popular AI-driven devices include Google Home, Alexa, Siri and more. In fact, AI is one of the biggest trends of this year, and is only getting bigger.
Vacuum the carpet, feed the dog and even scoop the litter box with robot cleaners and smart gadgets. You can even auto-adjust your home’s lighting and climate with motion-sensor technology and intelligent thermostats.
4. Sign Up for Auto Billing
If you’re constantly worried about losing a credit card statement or making an accidental late payment, opt into auto-billing. This simple switch can minimize stress and boost your credit score by ensuring you never miss a payment again. Plus, you can reduce waste by signing up to receive paperless statements at the same time.
Most companies offer auto-pay these days and some even allow you to pick which day they withdraw the payment from your account. This way you can take care of recurring bills whenever it’s most convenient for you.
5. Auto-Populate Forms
Think for a moment about how much time you spend typing out passwords, usernames and other credentials into log-in portals. Depending on where you work and your level of expertise, you could easily spend hours completing these menial tasks every month.
Luckily, there are quicker, easier ways to do things. Use password management tools like LastPass and Dashlane to improve security and auto-populate log-in portals. Set up autofill in Google Chrome to store personal data and easily insert your contact information into digital documents. You can even sign important forms and automate signature requests with various extensions and auto-fill tools like Automate.io.
If you’re already implementing the above strategies or are still unsure about how to automate your life, take inventory of your routine. Which tasks do you repeatedly complete throughout the day or week? Could you use a reminder here and there to water the plants, pay your phone bill or order groceries?
Maybe automation can aid in personal or professional data collection and organization. Regardless, becoming more aware of your current schedule and habits can help you find more ways to automate your life.