This post is sponsored by Sengled
A few weeks ago, I was chatting with a friend who runs a small business and she said, “We have GOT to start having someone else handle the shipping, but we’re so busy we don’t have time to set it up.”
Oh, did I know just what she was talking about.
How many times have I put off investing five or ten minutes of time because I felt too busy, and it ended up costing me so much more time in the long run?
Oh, only about a million times.
And when I do make the choice to spend a small amount of time to save myself so much more time in the long run, I never regret it.
For instance, in 2009, we sent out Christmas cards for the first time.
We knew it’d be kind of a pain to collect all those addresses, but we decided if we were going to do it, we were going to make it easy on ourselves by setting up a spreadsheet to save all those addresses in.
It took a couple of hours of work, but now every year, it takes us about 2 minutes to scan through the whole list and see if anyone has moved or if we need to add or remove anyone from the list, and then we text or email to get those new addresses, plug them in, and our whole list is ready to upload to and be printed straight onto our envelopes.
When we want to send a baby gift or a birthday card or go to someone’s house, it takes seconds to pull up that file and find the right address from anywhere.
That couple of hours has now saved us dozens of hours of time over the past seven years and I suspect will continue to do so for many more years.
A week or so ago, after crawling behind the Christmas tree multiple times a day, I pulled out a smart plug I’d had in my desk drawer for months, plugged the Christmas tree lights into it, and added the plug to my Google Home. It took about 4 minutes and now I can turn the tree on or off whenever I want by just telling Google to turn on the Christmas tree.
Similarly, I love the look of table or floor lamps and we have quite a few of them in our house, but I rarely turned them on because not only do I not want to spend a bunch of time going around and turning them all on, I REALLY don’t want to go around and turn them all back off before I go to bed.
So when I got a package of Sengled smart bulbs, I knew I wasn’t going to wait around for weeks and weeks (or months like my smart plug!) to spend the ten minutes to get them set up.
I quickly identified which lamps needed a smart bulb – the two in our basement, Ani’s bedside lamp which she leaves on pretty much 24 hours a day, and the table lamp in our living room.
I downloaded the app, plugged the hub into our router (it came with the necessary cord, so this was the work of about 3 seconds), and when it popped up on the app and was ready to go, I screwed in the Sengled’s Element bulbs into the various lamps, turned on the lamps so they could connect with the app and then added Sengled to our Google Home (it also works with Amazon’s Alexa).
It really was so easy.
Now, as I’m getting dinner ready, I can say “Hey Google, turn on the Living Room lamp” and voila, my cold, dark living room is turned into a cozy welcoming spot.
As we head down to read Harry Potter before bed, I tell Google to turn on the basement lights and the whole basement is lit up and ready for us to cuddle up together.
Later, when we’re ready to go to bed and are closing down upstairs, I can just shut the Element bulbs off by telling Google to do it or switching them off through the app while I get into bed instead of having to run downstairs and turn them all off one by one.
Basically, it’s the best thing ever and that ten minutes of set-up has been repaid tenfold already.
I can easily adjust the lighting – do I want them at full-strength or at 50%? And I can do that with the Sengled app or just by telling Google to dim or brighten them.
Or I can set things on a schedule, like Ani’s lamp which I want to turn off by 10 p.m. every night.
Basically, I love technology that makes my home more comfortable and inviting and simplifies my life just a little bit more.
I’m not a particularly tech-y person, but it really was super easy to get these all up and running, and I love that they are at an affordable price-point.
Plus, since Ani’s light no longer has to run ALL NIGHT LONG every single night, they’re basically paying for themselves.
Photos by Christie Knight Photography