This may seem like an obvious one (the earlier entries in the Top 20 probably are but it’s important to get the groundwork done) but visualising your home and other personal spaces and having a mental picture of where and when you’ll use personal automation will help you focus in rolling out your plan.

Imagine yourself going through your day from the moment you wake up. Moving from your bedroom to your bathroom and then perhaps to your wardrobe and then your kitchen or living area or, increasingly to your home office. Imagine all the steps you make (no matter how small) that gets you from one place to another; both physically and mentally.

Then think about where you could use automation. Granted, there are obvious places where you know you’ll need automation or smartspeakers; the kitchen and the living room being two such places. And we’re not just talking about smartspeakers, of course. If the front door is a bottleneck for you could it be made easier with a smartlock? If you spend a lot of time winding the blinds in your living room up and down should you invest in smart/motorised versions?

But you might discover a few surprised about yourself and what your needs may be. I found out that I spend a lot of time in the laundry, believe it or not. It’s a big space that, aside from laundry I also do ironing, folding, gift wrapping. I decided that a mini smart speaker (the Google Home mini) would be perfectly placed in the room. Also, I’ve discovered I don’t really need a smartspeaker in the living; something that I was very surprised to realise.

The step goes hand-in-hand with hack #20 and potentially can be made at the same time. But sometimes it helps to walk away from your plan to give you a bit more time to think about it and there’s something to be said about visualising how your life you want to be.