The 21st century is all about working smarter, not harder, and using technology to make our lives easier. This culture has given rise to the concept of “life hacking,” in which inane, quotidian tasks are automated to the greatest possible degree. Theoretically, this allows you to spend less time on boring busy work and more time on the things you enjoy. With that in mind, here are eight easy ways to automate your life.
1. Automated Bill Payments
Are you still writing checks and using snail mail to pay your bills? Even if you’ve entered the digital age and now pay your bills online, you can save even more time by setting up automatic monthly payments. With just a few quick clicks, you can set up automatic credit card payments for all your bills. All you’ll have to do is review your statement at the end of the month to make sure there aren’t any surprises.
Cook in Big Batches
Want to cut down on the amount of time you spend preparing food? Simply cook a couple of dishes in big batches and heat up the leftovers at mealtime. Legions of dieters have also successfully used this technique to control calorie intake by making sure there was always a healthy option on hand when hunger struck.
3. Make Your Computer Maintain Itself
If you’ve got antivirus software (which you should), you can set up regular, automatic tune-ups to optimize system performance. Even if you don’t, you can still set up automated maintenance and backup programs to cut your own time investment down to virtually zero.
4. Stop Shopping
Amazon is now offering a new service called Subscribe & Save, which will automatically send you frequently purchased items on a regular schedule, all at discounted rates. Plan now and you’ll never have to make a midnight run for toilet paper or toothpaste ever again.
5. Take Advantage of Your Smartphone
Newer smartphone models have all kinds of features that allow you to integrate apps and, increasingly, control your home environment. From automatically dimming your lights to saving commonly performed Web searches, smartphones have incredible potential when it comes to life hacking.
6. Schedule Cleaning
If you leave all your cleaning to do all at once, the task can seem overwhelming. A much better approach is to break it down into a compartmentalized schedule. For example, clean your bedroom on Monday evenings, your bathroom on Wednesday evenings, and do your vacuuming after work on Friday. Within a month, your home will be cleaner than it’s ever been, all for far less effort than you’ve ever invested.
7. Embrace the Era of the “Smart Home”
The “Internet of Things” is becoming a reality, and the faster you embrace these automated home technologies, the sooner you’ll have more time to spend relaxing. Within the next few years, you’ll be able to automate everything from your morning cup of coffee to your evening television without lifting a finger. Your plants will water themselves, and you’ll never have to remember to feed the cat again!
8. Download without Searching
You can now use software to automatically download music, movies, programs and just about any other type of file as soon as it’s available online and without doing any of the searching. Simply set your criteria and watch the downloads roll in! One popular such tool is called FlexGet, and while it takes a few minutes to get up and running, the time it will save you is well worth the investment.