Every Mother's Day, I get myself something to help increase productivity in our home. An over-the-top vacuum, a speedy hair dryer, an Instant Pot. I have friends who view this as a sacrifice but for me, this is like buying leisure time! If I can use technology to do more of the menial day-to-day tasks, I'm freeing myself up for a manicure or a massage or time spent eating delicious bon bons on my couch. It's my time, you guys, I do what I want! This year, my gift to me is a personal computer. Intel sent me this 15.6″ Silver Fusion Touchscreen Laptop just for ME…so I can have all the household controls literally at my fingertips.
Balancing work-life responsibilities is still such a juggling act. With four kids, I'm starting to realize that it's always going to be an ebb-and-flow. A friend of mine reminds me often that “balance is bunk,” and I've read articles in various business magazines that refer to the current age as a “postbalance world.” However, that won't stop me from persistently working to stay organized and find efficiencies in our lives!
Step one: follow some timeless wisdom. Keep business and personal separate.
I work from home, which means I can be found near my trusty business laptop at all hours of the day and night. This also means that taking my “work hat” off and putting my “personal hat” on isn't as simple as pulling my car out of the corporate parking lot. Everything gets all intertwined.
My ridiculously-expensive work laptop processes 36-megapixel photos for clients. It edits 4K video. It also winds up getting used for answering random homework questions for the kids. It plays MP3 downloads at 40,000 feet when we're on our way to visit family across the country. It serves as a completely over-the-top YouTube player. It displays recipes for me in the kitchen. It tees up games for the sticky-fingered, milk-toting toddler.
You can see how this may not end well for my work commitments.
So I decided to devote a computer to these personal causes. To clock my work computer out at the end of the day, officially, and give rise to a more regimented and logical system. Armed with an Intel Core i3-6100U processor and 8GB of memory, we can run all the boys' apps and stream ALL the things while searching all the internet answers at once. The hard drive offers a massive 1TB of storage (more than my work computer, even!) so I can store every cute baby photo I've ever taken. With a beautiful 15.6-inch WLED-backlit screen and 6 hours of battery life, we can watch the kids' saved Disney movies all the way from coast-to-coast without stopping. I can also log on with facial recognition and a half-second wake time, so any would-be meltdowns are quickly averted.
As far as home duties, this computer handles my Google Calendar, budget, To-Do List and Evernote data stash (this is where I like to put my receipts and other physical scans “in the cloud”). It also manages my meal plan, plays my favorite podcasts, and controls my connected devices such as my TV and thermostat. I have so much more mental space with all this stuff on a computer separate from my work laptop! As my grandma always used to say: a place for everything, and everything in its place.
Oh, and in addition to giving me tons of flexibility, that touchscreen sure does keep the toddler happy!
Does your family have a personal computer that helps manage your household? What are your favorite apps?