Even if you whittle away your office time to 40 or 50 hours a week, you may still feel like you’re always on the clock. When it’s possible to reach someone halfway around the globe in 10 seconds flat, work and home can no longer be easily siloed. It’s tougher than ever to find that elusive thing called “balance”.
I’ve tried. I’ve even told team members that unless they have an emergency that only I can fix, they shouldn’t expect an immediate return text or call. Yet, I’m still like the two-thirds of my neighbors tethered to a smartphone, not to mention the 43% of people who occasionally (if not regularly) work from their bedroom, kitchen table or recliner.
Here’s the catch, though: I don’t think escaping or eschewing technology is the secret to escaping the push and pull of job-versus-family. In fact, I’ve found technology, in the form of smart home-based devices, is turning into a great partner.
So, what’s the link between technology and work-life balance?
Leverage emerging smart tech to give yourself a break. A huge source of anxiety among adults is the endless to-do list we all have hanging over us. If smart tech can ease just a few of those responsibilities, the relief is palpable.
The trick is in treating smart devices — platforms like Alexa, Google Home, Nest, and others — as domestic staff that can help perform some of your daily tasks.
1Turn smart devices into your second brain
Will you really remember to take your lunch out of the fridge before leaving the house or contact your laundry service for a pickup? Probably not when your schedule is insane.
That’s where reminders and alerts come in handy. They’re like virtual Post-it notes that never fall off the calendar or get lost in the crevices of the sofa. Just tell your smart home device to give you a heads up and then let your gray matter tackle more complex stuff.
2Make shopping lists magically appear
You’re standing in your kitchen. You need cumin seeds, oatmeal, and agave syrup.
Unfortunately, you’re never going to recall all those things during your next Trader Joe’s run. That’s when you call out to your smart device and add your needed ingredients to a running shopping list. It’s a whole lot easier than writing everything down.
3Use tech as your hands
Ah, the good old days of getting out of a cozy bed to turn off the lights. Actually, they weren’t that great. Stay under the covers instead by incorporating smart plugs into your life.
Just by shouting “Hey, Google, turn off the bedroom lamp”, you can transition from evening to bedtime seamlessly. As a smart home bonus, you can use a cloud-based sleep tracker to stay on top of your sleeping schedule. In the morning, you can turn on the tea kettle before you even get out of bed.
4Keep on the fitness path
Not sure you’re going to stay on top of your fitness and wellness goals?
Beyond hitting Alexa’s no-excuse, heart-pumping seven-minute workout when you’re trapped indoors without a gym, why not sync up your smartwatch and smartphone to your health-related app of choice? You’ll get a cheerful, motivating reminder to help you resist laziness.
5Multitask without distractions
Sometimes, multitasking isn’t a good thing. But when you’re getting ready for your day, it’s a huge help.
I get my news from Google Home, allowing me to listen to what’s happening around the world while I’m getting dressed. And if I don’t like a story, it’s oddly satisfying to say “Hey, Google, skip this!”
I can even request a running list of my calendar for the day, just to keep me from missing anything critical.
Discovering New Ways to Boost Your Home’s IQ
Not every smart device will fit your lifestyle, but many will. You just have to find the right ones!
Stay open to discovering the latest and greatest options and explore each one’s functionalities. You want to invest in the platforms that will help you live a less hectic lifestyle, not just look cool sitting on the counter. Look beyond brand names and seek to incorporate the right product. After all, this is for your lifestyle.
You want a product to speak to you specifically. Although there will never be a miracle trick to balancing work and home life, technology can help everyone stay focused.
When you begin to see smart devices as helpful pals, you’ll see that although you can never completely wipe away all the stressors of adulthood, you can definitely increase your satisfaction and downtime with a little tech-driven smart assistance.
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6Author: Martha Smith
Martha Smith is the head of consumer and brand marketing at Tophatter, a marketplace that is reimagining discovery commerce for the mobile era. She loves getting the chance to apply her expertise in content, digital media, and social media in a way that helps consumers remember just how fun shopping can be and stumble across products they didn't know they or their friends and family would love.