By Donna McGeorge
As a working parent, juggling the responsibilities of work, parenting, and life admin can often feel overwhelming. The never-ending list of tasks, from scheduling appointments to managing household chores, can leave you feeling like there’s never enough time in the day. But fear not! Here are five ways you can use ChatGPT to simplify your busy family life and free up valuable time.
THE VIRTUAL ASSISTANT
ChatGPT can act as your virtual assistant, helping you with various administrative tasks. For example, if you have any day-to-day correspondence that you either don’t have the time to think about, or perhaps are stuck on where to start, ChatGPT is your go-to for support. It can even help you prepare for a tricky phone call.
Example Prompt: A product I have purchased came with a broken part. I have been unable to reach the store by phone. Write me a polite, yet firm, email asking them to contact me about the situation.
THE VIRTUAL MENU PLANNER
Many of us have been faced with, “What’s for dinner?” when we are tired and struggling from decision fatigue; answering that simple question is a challenge. You can ask for meal ideas based on specific dietary needs, such as gluten-free or vegetarian options. If someone in the family doesn’t like peas or salmon, you can ask it to exclude those ingredients. It can even generate customised shopping lists based on your preferences, helping you stick to your budget and avoid unnecessary purchases.
Example Prompt: I’m trying to cut down on food waste and save money, but I’m not sure how to make the most of my ingredients. Suggest some recipes and cooking techniques that can help me use up [enter what is in your fridge or cupboard]?
THE VIRTUAL TRAVEL AGENT
Planning a vacation that satisfies the needs of all involved, and on a budget that is affordable can be time-consuming, but ChatGPT can serve as your personal travel agent.
By providing information on budget, travel destinations, hotels, and activities based on your interests and preferences, ChatGPT simplifies the process of organising leisure time. It can help you create detailed travel itineraries, suggest transportation options, and even find flights and accommodations through plug-ins like Expedia. With ChatGPT’s guidance, planning a well-deserved holiday becomes a breeze.
Example Prompt: Help me plan a budget-friendly, two-week-long caravanning holiday for a family of four with two children aged eight and ten, based on the Australian east coast?
THE VIRTUAL HOMEWORK TUTOR
Homework assistance is a common challenge for parents, but ChatGPT can be an excellent resource to support your child’s learning. By asking specific questions related to a subject or concept, ChatGPT can explain steps, provide additional practice problems, or suggest creative ways to approach assignments. It can also engage in conversations about historical events, scientific concepts, or current events, helping your child develop critical thinking skills and broaden their knowledge. ChatGPT becomes a valuable study partner, reinforcing learning and sparking curiosity.
Example prompt: I’m studying the Russian revolution. Ask me a series of questions to test my knowledge.
THE VIRTUAL SHOPPER
Finding gifts for others can be challenging. We are always at risk of buying stuff we would like, rather than thinking about things from the receiver’s perspective. Let ChatGPT be your personal shopping assistant.
It can help find the perfect gift for any occasion, or suggest new products based on the interests and preferences of your friend or family member, saving time and avoiding the frustration of endless online browsing.
Example prompt: I need a gift for my sister-in-law who is 36 years old. She likes cooking, cookbooks and gadgets, and dislikes spending too much time on meal preparation. Gifts she has liked in the past included famous chef cookbooks, Japanese knife sets and cordless appliances. Give me 10 gift ideas.
Whenever you are stuck, ChatGPT can become your “phone a friend”. Whilst the advice is not always useful (same with your human friends), it can often spark inspiration for a solution to your problem or situation.
Donna McGeorge is a global authority on productivity, and best-selling author of the “It’s About Time” book series. Her latest book, “Join the ChatGPT Revolution” (published by Wiley) was set for release in July 2023.
Find out more at www.donnamcgeorge.com