As deputy ed of Women’s Health, I spend a decent chunk of every day doing admin and I get it done, even while juggling deadlines and other commitments. But when it comes to my own life admin? Failing. Dismally. I know trying to be more disciplined would just be setting myself up for more failure so, in the absence of a PA, I’ve started employing a growing collection of techy life hacks to take care of life admin for me. Here are five things I no longer need to worry about…
Buying Dog Food
The hack: Petheaven.co.za
There’s nothing like the guilt you feel when your furry best friend is sitting next to an empty bowl, looking up at you with big, expectant eyes…and you realise you forgot to buy dog food. My dogs feasted on many a free-range chicken breast that was meant for my supper before Hubby and I discovered you can buy dog food online and have it delivered to your door! These days, a bag of dog food arrives at our door every month without us having to remember a thing. Sheer genius. Pet Heaven also stocks cat food, treats and accessories like leashes, bowls, beds and toys (how cool is this cat wand?). The best part: There’s a donations portal where you can support your favourite animal charity at the click of a button.
Cleaning Up After A Braai
The hack: Sweepsouth.com
Sometimes, you just don’t feel like spending a beautiful sunny day sweeping and mopping. We first used Sweep South when our regular cleaner was on maternity leave. Since then, we’ve used it ad hoc. I love that it’s so easy to use – you open the app, select the day you need a cleaner for, choose your cleaner and book. All logistics are taken care of, including payment. You can choose to book a specific cleaner for a regular slot or book someone as needed. No need to worry about employment contracts, UIF, managing leave or any of the other HR-type stuff that comes with employing someone – a dream for the life-admin averse among us.
Not an accurate depiction of real life…
Standing In Shopping Centre Queues
The hack: Zando.co.za
I love new clothes as much as the next girl, but I’m not a fan of shopping. I hate stripping down to my sensible beige briefs in those awful cubicles with their government hospital lighting. I dread that awkward game of tug-o-war that happens when you and a fellow shopper simultaneously reach for an item (all wrists; no eye contact). And, above all, I hate queues. So I got into online shopping pretty early. These days, I have various go-to stores, but Zando was the first one I tried. They have a broad range that covers women’s, men’s and kids’ clothes and accessories, homeware and, lately, even an adult store. There are some great bargains to be had and the process is quick and easy: Click on an item, choose your size, add to cart and check out. You can pre-load your payment and delivery details so you don’t even need to fill in a form. If it doesn’t fit, simply log a return and they’ll come get it from you again. Broke? You can stash things in your favourites and buy later. Right now, I’m crushing hard on this jump suit.
Trawling Through Airline Websites
The hack: Travelstart.co.za
I first discovered this website years ago when I was working on a travel magazine. I was a junior journalist on a pretty sad salary, though, so I never had reason to use it. Since then, it’s saved me a wad of cash on flights and holiday packages. You can also book hotels and car hire. It works kind of like a virtual travel agent, searching all the individual websites and then presenting you with the best options. Then you just need to make your selection and book. Easy peasy.
Deciding What To Make For Supper
The hack: Ucook.co.za
This isn’t actually one I’ve used myself, but I have friends and colleagues who swear by it so it makes the list. You pick your meals from the menu on their website (which changes weekly, so you don’t always eat the same things) and then they deliver the ingredients for your meal with step-by-step instructions on how to prepare it. What I really like is that the ingredients arrive in exact portions, so there’s no wastage. I hate throwing food away, but there’s also only so much you can do with huge bunch of fennel leaves after the recipe called for a tablespoon. Ingredients are fresh, locally sourced, seasonal and mostly organic and you know exactly what you’re eating so you can keep it clean.