Jul 18, 2019
Smarten Up Your Home
Bricks and bloody mortar, mate. Do you have a smart home? We use the term standard home versus smart phone because dumb home sounds odd. Nevertheless, if you've got a standard home and you're a business owner you are missing out on a whole bunch of efficiencies.
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I’ve Got an Old House
I will be the first to say that my home is about 40, 45 years old. It's an old home and when I moved in the smartest thing about it was the six millimetre copper going out to the street. Yep, for any of you guys who know what that means, that means that if I put a massive, wicked solar system on the roof like I've got, I nearly have trouble exporting all the power. So it is an old home. It wasn't designed to have a whole bunch of gadgets and do what's in it. It was designed to have one T.V. and a few lamps and maybe a stereo to listen to War of the World, you know.
How I Made my Old House Modern?
Nevertheless, I love it and it's got some awesome charm and that is why I turned my home from what it was into a wickedly smart home. With my phone I can jump into security cameras. I know, most people are like, "That's pretty straightforward." I can unlock my gate on arrival to the general area so it can open and close the gate. I can have it set so that the sprinklers come on and off depending on how much wind is in the general area and when I say the general area I mean within 20 metres of the property. Very, very general, very close. So, quite specific really. The lights can turn on and off. You got the alarm system control, it notifies you on your phone is anything goes wrong there. The spa temperature control. The bloody fish, the fish pond tells me how much evaporation happened each day and how much water's had to have been put in there to replenish to get it up to the normal water level. My home is wicked smart. Everything is ran off different devices that allow for me to get this sort of data is there. I can turn the T.V. on, I can turn it into cinema mode, I can turn it to sexy time mode. I'm not gonna go into details about what that's all about but have to think about it. But a smart home is cool but what's more important is, it's more efficient.
The True Meaning of Smart and Efficient
When I go to bed, I can say one key phrase and I know that the whole house is locked, all the lights are off and everything is ready to go. I know that the waterfall has stopped on the fish pond and everything is in its off position. I don't have to go around and check things, I don't have to do any of this mucking around. That saves me countless hours over the year of time that I would have otherwise wasted doing repetitious tasks. Making your life more efficient lets you spend more of your life living and that is ultimately what we want to do. Everyone works their life to have the time, to have the money, to be able to do the things they want to do. If you're too busy going backwards and forwards turning off bloody lights, you'd be surprised at how much time you're wasting. I always talk about analytically reviewing what you're doing in life. This is a process that I'm not even kidding when I tell you how automated my house is. I get told on my phone when there's a letter in the letterbox. I can look and see a schedule of how well the oil works in a door hinge as per how many times the door's opened and closed. It's next level automated. If it can be done, it has. If I want to have a cocktail poured, it gets poured. It's really, really cool stuff. I dial that up on my phone and I can have a Long Island Ice Tea ready to go by the time I walk over into the bar area. It's cool stuff and that is, again, all about time efficiency. We only have a certain amount of time on this world, 3600 seconds an hour, 168 hours a week. You need to make sure you're life is efficient. You wanna make sure that the time you're spending at work is efficient and effective and the time you're spending at home is efficient and effective.
See What You Can Improve
A smart home is a fantastic segue into doing that. Audit your current position and how you're home is working and make sure that you're able to get to a spot where it is automated to a level that you don't have to do the things you don't want to do. It sounds like such a silly thing. "Oh, I'm too lazy to turn the light off." We're not too lazy, we're doing other stuff. All business owners have to make a decision about what they're doing and where they're spending their time. For instance, I'm making a podcast right now. That's something that I decided to do and it's taking up time but I'm enjoying that and I know this will help a whole community of people and therefore it's worth doing. Turning your light bulb on and off isn't helping a community of people. Making a podcast isn't lazy, it takes a lot of time. A lot of the things that all business owners do take a lot of time. And you take for granted how much time a light bulb takes to turn on and off.
Know Your Automation Limits
Now, I'm not going to say you should automate everything. I've definitely gone to the tenth degree and I would say when you first get that light bulb that turns on and off, whether it be in your head saying, "Ah, a light bulb moment," or it actually be through some level of automation. It's a gateway drug, isn't it? That would have to be the marijuana to the cocaine or heroin and that's where my house has gone, really. I've got this huge level of automation in what I've been able to achieve and it brings me back actually to a moment. So I started automating my bedroom as a 13-year-old sitting there with a kit from J-Car Electronics trying to automate everything using an infrared remote control. I'd automated the fog machine. Yeah, something every 13-year-old boy has to have. Automated the fog machine, the strobe lights, the T.V., the fans, the whole lot, I could do with this one remote control. It was wicked. The same remote control could turn the T.V. on and change the channels and you could press a macro button, which allowed for all the things to happen at once. It was really, really cool when you consider how long ago that was and me being able to achieve that. Those where things have gone now. Now everything's become mainstream but one of the things that I wanted to do when I was in the bedroom and I'm sitting down there on the lounge, I wanted to be able to automate the bedroom door. I wanted to make it so that when someone knocked on the bedroom door I was able to click a button and unlock the door but not only unlock the door, but also unlock the door, open the door, let the person in and then close the door. I went through, looked at all the schematics, made sure this was gonna work. I had created the circuitry and visually on the computer and then I went, "Okay, let's go through and see how long this is going to take. Let's start making this."
Want to Know My Brother's Input?
I showed my brother, he's an electronic engineer and he said, "Okay, this looks amazing. Here, this' will work. This will definitely work." So I thought, cool, the second set of eyes. He's a number of years older than me so I thought it was worthwhile having him check it out. He was an engineer at that stage, as I was as a 13-year-old boy so yeah, he was a number of years older than me. But I thought, okay, this is cool, let's see what he thinks. And he said, "This is great. This is really, really good." And he brought up something very interesting, he said, "Why are you automating the door?" And I said, "Because it would be awesome. You just press a button and people get let in. If someone's knocking, it'd just be cool." And he said, "Yeah, that's cool but how long do you reckon for you to do it?" And I said, "I don't know. Probably 100 hours." And to be fair probably would have been about 100 hours between all the mechanics involved as well as the electronics and the programming and everything else. And he said, "So, how many times have you opened and closed that door in 100 hours?" I went, "Yeah, yeah, okay." It made sense. I went, "Mm, okay. If it takes a minute to open and close that door, 100 hours is a bloody lot of opening and closing, isn't?" So I went, "Uh, probably not worthwhile doing." But, the adventure and the path to get there can be more important than the destination. The journey can sometimes be more important and skills I would have learnt in doing that could have trumped the actual end goal. And I didn't end up automating the door and that's fine but what I'm getting at is automate your house but analyse what needs to be done. Don't automate things that don't need to be automated because you're saving no time in doing that.
Automate What Needs to Be Automated
Automate the things that need to be automated. Light switches are easy. A $15 to $80 bulb depending on the brand that you're going for will make your lights automated and that's a once off cost. The bulbs last for ages and do all sorts of really cool stuff and you can set that up so that you're not having to do anything. And you think, "Ah, it's pretty lazy." Again, I bring up the lazy thing but in truth, it's not that lazy. When you're sitting in bed and you've been reading a book and you can use the actual nice light instead of a night light type thing, reading lamp or whatever, you can actually then say, "Hey, turn it off," and it turns it off. You're already comfortable in bed, you can go straight to sleep. You're already in the rhythmic pattern to go to sleep, you don't have to get up and then remove the cold or warm spot on the bed and then have to get comfortable again. And if your partner's there cuddling around your arm or whatever else and then you wanna jump and then it's just so much easier. It makes everything better and that's something that you need to just work out if it's worthwhile doing in your life and in your business.
The Final Word
The more you can automate, the faster and more efficient you can make your personal life, the more time you'll have to spend in your business life and in your personal life living. And that's ultimately what we're all here for. So I hope you've enjoyed this and if you have any suggestions, make sure to leave us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Stay good.