At Home with Tech

It’s time to maximize the potential of all your gadgets.

Tag: blogging

Why my Magic Hour is my Super Power

This is the story of my favorite time of day and how this found hour became my most productive.

I was born a night owl. And I spent much of my life using late-night hours productively. It felt natural, like I was hard-wired to do that. Mornings, on the other hand, were my kryptonite. And I struggled through them as I ramped up into my day.

Then, about fifteen years ago, I needed to get up earlier as part of a new schedule. The shift was painful. But over time, my body began to adjust. And once I recognized the need to also go to bed earlier to make up for the lost sleep, I began to find a new balance for my daily rhythms.

When I no longer needed to get up at the crack of dawn, I didn’t immediately return to my former schedule. And I found the extra hour to ninety minutes in my mornings.

The Power of my Magic Hour
I explored this time and discovered an amazing benefit. While I thought it would be a period of brain sluggishness, in fact it was the opposite. I was entirely clear headed.

I was sharp and unburdened by all of the clutter that tended to fill up my head throughout the day. You could call it a sense of clarity. I began to call it my magic hour.

It was a time where my creative self was most fully present. And my cognitive productivity levels went through the roof.

Sure, part of that equation was the fact that I had no outside disturbances. (Nobody else was awake yet.) But it was more than that. I had discovered the zone when my brain worked best.

People ask me when I find the time to write this blog. Yep, it’s during my magic hour that begins at 5:30am.

My magic hour became my super power.

Discover and Protect
When our son was born, my magic hour was challenged by a new family schedule. And after things settled a bit, son of Barrett proved himself to be a natural morning person. That also threatened to infringe on my magic hour. But I was able to adjust it back a bit to maintain its integrity.

I think everyone values having enough ‘me’ time. It doesn’t necessarily have to happen before the sun rises. It can be when the clock strikes midnight or when you’re in the middle of a solo activity like commuting.

Everyone should know the best hour when they can be fully in their own head. And then, you’ve got to make the time for that!

The Need for Me-Bubbles
But life during this pandemic is, of course, quite different. Much of our ‘me’ time has evaporated due to the physical compression caused by family units feeling forced to spend as much time at home as possible.

I think a reaction to that is the desire to create virtual ‘me-bubbles,’ and of course, technology can help generate them.

That said, these me-bubbles can’t interfere with others who may be only feet away. So that means using headphones more and not blaring your whole-house speaker system.

Technology can also strengthen certain me-bubbles that you may not want to promote.
(I don’t have to tell you parents about the current pressure for more iPad screen time. It’s a force from your kids that can require the Force to properly keep in check.)

Don’t Become a Bubble Stranger
Yes, creating and protecting quality me time is important. That said, maintaining the right balance at home needs to be part of the equation. You don’t want to inadvertently birth a family of bubble strangers through technology.

To summarize:

  • Magic Hour = Good
  • Brain Clutter = Bad
  • Me Time = Good
  • Bubble Strangers = Bad

Retraining your body for a new sleep schedule = actual results may vary.

Good luck!

GoDaddy Says Four Paths to Your Blog is Better than One

Want to corner the market on your blog’s name?  Is .com not good enough for you? Well, GoDaddy is there to help you buy up all the available matching top-level domains.

Want to corner the market on your blog’s name? Is .com not good enough for you? Well, GoDaddy is there to help you buy up all the available matching top-level domains.

The calendar on my iMac recently reminded me it was time to renew the ownership of my blog’s domain name.

All right, then…
Wouldn’t want ‘At Home with Tech’ to suddenly disappear.
(I know you would all feel a disturbance in the Force.)

So I jumped onto GoDaddy to renew my ongoing pledge:

  • To help frustrated citizens live in harmony at home with their sometimes not-so-helpful technologies

Would You Like Fries with That?
I’ve always found shopping on GoDaddy’s website to be something of a circus.
(though I’ve noticed their TV advertising of late has moved back from that cliff)

In every nook and cranny, there’s an attempt to ‘upsell’ you.
(It’s like walking into a department store to buy a pair of shoes and walking out with a bulletproof tuxedo.)

Not that all the bells and whistles for your website aren’t a good thing.
It can just be a bit overwhelming.

That said, I did notice one ‘opportunity’ that peaked my interest.

I was presented with a ‘bundle offer’ that would extend my ownership of the
At Home with Tech name beyond the .com world to other top-level domains. (TLDs)

Now, I could also own the matching .net, .org, and .info suffixes.

And the low, low price for this ‘massive’ jump in web presence beyond my blog’s current .com existence?

  • $17 per year.

Interesting…

So I thought about it a bit.
I already owned the URL I wanted.
And I wasn’t really sure why I needed to corner the market on the name using other suffixes.
(When was the last time you used a .info address?)

The Brand, the Brand, the Brand…
So I called up GoDaddy to see what they had to say about their offer…
I spoke with a very down-to-earth customer service rep and explained my situation.
And even though I knew it was his job to sell more ‘product,’ he gave me a simple, well-balanced answer:

  • It’s all about protecting and building your website’s brand.

You wouldn’t want some other parallel universe ‘Lester Barrett’ blogging about his little tech woes using .org. That would get really confusing.
(And then I’d have to meet him in some Star Trek-like Lazarus/Thunderdome Nexus to work out our differences.)

Also, what happens if the occasional reader gets your URL extension wrong and can’t find his way back to your blog? Owning a broader market of the possible URL suffixes will help her find you.

So theoretically, this $17 investment will increase readership.
And isn’t that the endgame?

Click.

The entire At Home with Tech team immediately held a party to celebrate this important moment of expansion.
(Translation: I went to the kitchen to treat myself to a chocolate chip cookie.)

Then I sat down again at my computer.
Now what…?

How to Forward your New Domains
It was time to forward my new URLs back to
the mothership – athomewithtech.com.
Because at the end of the day, remember, I’m still writing only one blog. I’m not trying to duplicate my content across the new URLs.
(Google spiders actually frown on that kind of practice.)

And I’m not trying to confuse anyone.
(That can happen easily enough on its own when I go off on some tech rift.)

So how exactly do you forward your new domains back to your main one?
Well, I figured GoDaddy should easily be able to easily explain this.
I called GoDaddy back and spoke to an equally friendly customer service rep.
And he explained the simplicity of domain forwarding on GoDaddy’s interface:

  • On the Domains page, select the domains you want to forward
  • Click on Forward
  • And then click on the drop-down Forwarding Domains
  • Type in your main domain name
  • Click on 301 Permanent
  • Click on Forward Only
    (not masking)

And that’s it!
Now, when someone types in .org or .net, it immediately goes to the .com address.
Ta Dah!…

GoDaddy’s website said it may take a few moments for updates to take effect.
My GoDaddy buddy admitted it could take up to 2 hours.
(I liked the honesty.)

Waiting to Eat Valentines Day Cookie

But then I felt like my three-year-old son staring at his Valentine’s Day cookie jammed with M&M’s on top.  I just couldn’t wait that long…

Ten minutes later, I tried on one of my new URLs.

BAM!
There it was!

BAM!! BAM!!!
There were the other two!

Q.E.D.
(Quite Easily Done!)

The More the Merrier
So there you have it.
Or rather, now I’ve got them…
Three more top-level domains to help you find your way to
‘At Home with Tech.’
(should you ever get lost)

And everyone’s happy!

  • GoDaddy is psyched, ‘cause they’ve got more of my money.
  • I’m excited, because I feel I’ve done something good for my blog’s health.
  • And maybe you’re happy too?

Well, two out of three isn’t bad…

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