Here's how to outsource your entire life
A recent cartoon in the New Yorker shows two Manhattanites power-walking past dog walkers. One, with almost a dozen bands strapped around his wrists, says to his companion: “People pay me to put steps on their Fitbits.”
It's now easier than ever to find someone who can do almost everything for you. With the click of a mouse or the tap of an app, anyone can pass on their unwanted chores to others for a reasonable fee.
As our lives get busier, digital services that make our days easier to manage have soared in popularity. From cooking and cleaning to walking the dog, booking a holiday or having a massage in your living room, practically everything can be ordered to our convenience.
Apps help consumers vet service providers before they are hired and set competitive quotes for the price of the job. They also boost small businesses and the self-employed by connecting them directly to a wide and active customer base.
Joe Groves from Deliveroo, the restaurant delivery app, says that the service is not limited to people who don’t want to cook or go out for dinner, but has become applicable to the home or office.
Food delivery has now evolved from a once-a-week treat on a Saturday evening to a daily lunch experience to help city workers save time in their non-stop lives, Mr Groves said.
Rohan Sinclair Luvaglio, founder of handyman booking app Bizzby, added that outsourcing is no longer a luxury, but "a necessity that is now becoming part of everyday life".
Here's how to outsource your entire life.
Start the day as you mean to go on. While most phones come with their own alarm clock, there are dozens of apps out there that offer a more sophisticated service. For those who need a morning burst of activity to shake off sleepiness, Wake N Shake Alarm Clock can be programmed so the ringer doesn't turn off unless you shake the phone.
Carrot talks to you – a good option if you can't bear being woken by a bleat or a buzz – while Alarm Clock Pro lets you choose a ringtone from your song library. And Sunriser aims to wake you up at the exact moment the sky becomes flooded with natural light.
If you want to track how many winks you actually caught, Sleep Cycle analyses your sleeping pattern, puts it into charts, and wakes you softly when you are already in a light sleep cycle.
You still have to physically put food into your mouth and do the chewing yourselves. But gone are the days of inventing recipes based on the three remaining ingredients in your neglected fridge. Services such as Tesco Direct, Ocado and Amazon Fresh will deliver from the supermarket straight to your kitchen – and you don't even have to count calories: Fooducate tells you nutritional information about the content of your shopping basket.
Hello Fresh and Gousto deliver boxes of ingredients so you have everything to hand to whip up a meal at home without having to think about shopping lists or recipes. And if you don't even want to open the door of your fridge (except perhaps to store leftovers), a number of apps – Deliveroo, Just Eat, Uber Eats – will bring takeaway from a local restaurant to your front door.
Whether you're going to the office or heading out for an adventure, you barely have to move two feet to get where you're going. Taxi apps such as Uber and Karhoo can deliver a vehicle to your front door in a matter of minutes, as can black cab hailing apps such as Hailo and Gett. If you'd still prefer public transport, Citymapper, Moovit and Tube Exits can help you navigate more easily.
Breaking a sweat can involve minimal mental effort with apps such as Sworkit, Fitstar and Zova, which create workouts for you, tell you how many calories they burn, and even count down the seconds for each exercise. My Fitness Pal and Lark will keep track of your nutritional intake, so you don't have to. And if you really want to keep the movement to a minimum, there's 7 Minute Workout.
Cleaning and Laundry
People on average spend between 1.5 and two hours each week on washing and ironing clothes, but they don't need to. Apps such as Laundrapp, Laundry Heap and Zip Jet will pick up your dirty washing or dry cleaning, and returned it washed and folded. Handy, Hassle and Mopp meanwhile let you book a cleaning service to make your home sparkle.