As technology advances, it can be easy to forget how much simpler technology has made everyday life over time.
Instead of spending time scrubbing and hauling, we can now spend more time each week with family, friends, or just relaxing on the couch, binge-watching Netflix.
In recent years, even more daily tasks have been automated thanks to the increasing capabilities of mobile devices. Now many of the most time-consuming tasks of the not-so-distant past can be completed in seconds from the couch (or the pool or the golf course). Here are the top five chores you can now complete without having to get off the couch along with tips from HGTV Canada’s Bryan Baeumler.
1. Shopping for Necessities
Tackling the shopping list is getting easier with each new generation of technology. Today major grocery retailers provide services that can have your cart ready for you at checkout, or even deliver the goods right to your door. Many of these services are available on mobile devices and provide a recurring order option that can automate the entire process for predictable, weekly necessities — like milk or bread.
2. Managing Your Calendar
“The only way we stay on schedule with each other, the kids, the office, and our growing businesses is by using multiple shared calendars that are easily accessible while travelling,” says Bryan. “I use a separate iCal for each production schedule, we have a kid’s shared calendar, one for both of us, as well as for the companies.”Setting up appointments, coordinating schedules and setting reminders is almost effortless thanks to advances in calendar software. In fact, most scheduling-related tasks can now be completed in a snap using some basic, often free, mobile apps. Your phones default calendar — iCal for Apple products and Google Calendar for Android products — can not only help you manage your daily schedule, but also allows you to set reminders and share your calendar with others. Trying to plan a trip, meeting or brunch plans with others and want to avoid the constant back-and-forth? Free services like Calendly and Doodle are designed to make it easy to coordinate timing with large groups by finding pockets of availability across multiple schedules.
3. Settling Bills and Managing Payments
Whether paying back a friend for a meal, or reminding your roommate that their share of rent is due, transferring money between friends and family has never been easier. Banking features now make it effortless for your money to be automatically deposited into your account. Once you’re set up you don’t even need to answer a security question when someone sends you money— the funds automatically appear in your account. It’s as if you were handed the cash in person, only you no longer need to worry about finding exact change, and you don’t even need to be in the same room! The same is also true for requesting money from the couch. Simply send a money request for the amount you’re owed, wait for the other person to accept, and the funds will appear in your account in no time!
4. Vacuuming the House
No matter how many hours you spend dusting and cleaning every last crumb from the floor, they seem to reappear in remarkably short order. Rather than carving out time to break out the vacuum every week, autonomous floor cleaners can do your vacuuming, without requiring you to lift a finger (unless of course you choose to activate it using a mobile device, in which case you only need to lift that finger onto the screen briefly). Today there are countless robot vacuums on the market, ranging in price, power and battery life.
5. Watering the Lawn
“I do love a nice freshly maintained lawn, but I also love doing my part to not waste water,” says Bryan. Keeping your yard green and pristine has never been simpler thanks to smart irrigation and sprinkler systems. These internet-enabled systems allow you to start watering the plants from anywhere with the tap of your phone. Once set up, the sprinkler can be set to turn on at set-intervals, and some can even take weather conditions into consideration when autonomously choosing whether to start spraying or wait and let Mother Nature do the job for you. As a result, these smart irrigation systems are far more efficient than traditional watering methods.
By using these tips — and the increasing capabilities of your mobile device — you can spend more time this summer doing what you want to do, and less time doing what you have to do. “We all have chores to do, but if I can use my phone to be more efficient and spend more time with Sarah and my kids, I’m game for that!” – Bryan.
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