I would consider myself a fairly organised individual. I use a calendar to keep track of life’s appointments, I have a schedule that I stick to keep my kid and husband on track, and I get through a work day with all my t’s crossed and my i’s dotted.
But the one thing I’m not great at doing is asking or getting help for me.
I was gifted an Amazon Echo last year and up until very recently I used it almost exclusively to play music. I like that it makes listening to digital radio really easy and so it would often accompany me in the kitchen on a Saturday morning as we prepped for the week ahead. Recently, though, it took a dinner party for me to realise that I had not been using Alexa to her full potential.
We were sitting around the table, the food had been consumed and we were on our second or third glass of wine when there was a lull in the conversation.
Alexa had already been recruited to play some cool dinner party-style tunes in the background but it would be my husband who called her up for extra duties.
“Alexa” he asked, “Let’s play a game”.
Alexa dutifully responded and for the next hour or so, my dinner guests, who I would place in the excessively competitive category, battled it out for quiz supremacy. Humble brag, no one does ’90s pop trivia better than yours truly, especially where Hootie and the Blowfish is concerned.
That night started me on the road to exploring what else our friend Alexa can do for me.
A quick check and a few voice commands later and I had set a reminder for hubby to take the bins out on Wednesday nights. The feature is called Bin Reminder and it’s my first win for the mental load.
Next, how to help relieve one of my most-hated duties, filling the car up with petrol. I loathe having to either drive around to find the cheapest price or use apps on my phone to compare servos, and let’s face it, sometimes you can’t be stuffed doing all that and just pay the 40 cents a litre difference you only realise you’ve paid AFTER you fill up.
Maybe my new mental load mate Alexa can help. “Alexa, ask Petrol Check, what’s the price for postcode 2229?” Yep, she delivered the best price in my area with some other options in case it wasn’t in my commute route.
The next discovery came by chance. I was chatting to a colleague about the fact my kid was struggling to get back into a sleep routine after our holiday, so she suggested getting Alexa to play the Bedtime Explorers podcast to her as she’s lying in bed.