SET IT AND FORGET IT
TIME TO READ: 5 minutes
Since buying my first home last month, I’ve been doing a lot of tinkering and thinking. Besides the usual stuff you do when going from a sparse, small apartment to a home you want to feel good about (like buying actual furniture), I’ve thought a lot about simplifying homeownership. Now that I have the American dream (re: mortgage scam) hanging over my head, I’ve come up with ways to make my life easier and more streamlined. I did so subconsciously, trying to maintain my freedom and sanity, and conserve some mental ram, mitigating the headache and stress owning a home can sometimes bring. And so, I tried to automate as much as I could and then realized what a good idea it was to do so on many levels.
Since the purchase, I’ve installed security cameras and automatic door locks I control through an app. A screenshot is texted every time someone rings my doorbell, and just last week I let the furniture deliverer into my home virtually, directing and talking to them through the security cameras, all while I was at my gym 30 miles away—which saved me from cancelling my whole morning with clients because of the obnoxious 8-hour window delivery companies love to give you. Super convenient. I was still able to work, while getting a coffee table dropped off.
I have an app-controlled thermoset, which I can set to a schedule to turn on 30 minutes before I get home from work, and turn off if I forget to do so as I run out the door for the day, saving me some bucks on the electric bill.
I have a robotic vacuum set to a schedule. Sure it takes an hour for a job that would take 20 minutes, but I don’t have to think about it and that’s really cool. I don’t like to clean so I’ll gladly give that up and spend the time saved doing pretty much anything else on the planet.
And finally, an Alexa who controls the whole system when I’m in the house. “Alexa, set an alarm.” “Alexa, play Kendrick Lamar.” “Alexa, lock the front door.” “Alexa, raise the temperature 3 degrees.”
The punch line is that all of this equates to a lot less thinking, along with some time and money saved. I don’t really know how much time I save due to automation, but I’d estimate 1-2 hours per day. That’s 550 hours per year, or 13 40-hour work weeks. So in essence, these little things I’ve set up give me 25% more time than most people. Wild when you think about it that way.
I talk about systems, routines, and habits a lot because I noticed how efficient (at least for me) I am in my days because of them. I don’t condone living your entire life robotically set in rigid routines, but there is something to be said about saving in one area in order to invest in another. I eat the same food pretty much everyday and recommend my clients do the same, as I believe we have a set amount of willpower each day and our decision-making ability is often depleted on menial things like what dressing or side we want, which is why I believe so many feel completely exhausted after each day. The more we can autopilot, the better. In other words, less decisions = better decisions.
With everything I have in place, I’m free to allocate resources to things I deem more important. Right now, that means being more social, while in a few months that could mean more time reading. Whatever I want.
Personally, I feel clearer without having to make so many little, tiny decisions. All of my bills are set to auto-pay. I was automatically investing 10% of my income but stopped since buying my home. I write this blog on Wednesdays. Shoot videos for my pages on Fridays. I remember reading an article a couple years back that some CEOs dress the same everyday; just days ago, my clients pointed out I wear a lot of black and grey.
All systems, systems, systems.
Although some may initially think my life of systems is too rigid, it actually gives me the ultimate freedom to do what I want with my time and still get shit done. No need to worry about if I turned off the air this morning. Or if my front door is locked. Or if I paid the electric bill. I find myself going about my day more calm and less stressed, and I’m sure automation plays a big part in that.
Hope this helps you start to think of things in your own life and what you can do to make things a little easier by automation. It’s pretty addicting when you feel the impact of the saved time… and then use that saved time to automate even more new things. Like compounding interest.