Working At Home

As the pandemic rages on, more and more people are working from home. Long before Covid-19 shook the world, people were striving to work from home. Millennials are not the ones to sit at a desk and suffer through a standard 9-5 job. Instead, they are the ones that are out to make sure that they have a job that they enjoy. That includes having the option of working from home. These are some of the most popular working at home jobs. 

Popular Jobs That You Can Do From Home

While there are not a lot of options you have when working from home, there are enough that most people with little or no experience can start to at least earn a side income from the comfort of their couch. These are some of the most popular opportunities. 

Call Centers

Call centers often let their employees enjoy working from home. Popular hotel chains, such as Red Roof Inn, have call center employees that live all over the world. Other hotel chains often do the same thing. 

Hotel chains are not the only businesses that provide this opportunity. Insurance companies, tech companies, and other businesses that have call centers often enjoy cutting costs by letting employees work from home. 

Online Survey Options

Online surveys are not going to provide the same level of income that a full-time job will, but they are often used as a side job for those that want to work from home. Popular online survey sites, such as Swagbucks, have thousands of users that participate in filling out surveys or getting paid for watching videos daily. 

Digital Marketing

Digital marketing is always in demand, even when the economy is unpredictable. Digital marketing agencies often consist of a team of people, such as web designers, freelance writers, artists, and SEO specialists. You can learn most of these skills online, and enjoy working for a digital marketing agency from home. 

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is when you share a link to a product and earn a commission when someone buys it. Most people that have their own blogs also affiliate marketers. Depending on the price tag of the items you’re selling on your website, you can earn a decent amount of money with affiliate marketing. 

Virtual Assistant

Most people prefer an online virtual assistant handle everyday tasks that they do not have time for. This can involve answering emails, taking phone calls, and scheduling appointments. It may also include participating in meetings, doing research for upcoming projects, and various other tasks that are deemed essential for the business that the owner might not have time for. 

The experience level that most businesses would like to see in a virtual assistant varies. Most businesses prefer experience in Microsoft Office apps, such as Excel, Microsoft Word, and other common programs. Other businesses might prefer experience in other things, such as Google Documents. Most businesses will provide support and training if you are new to these things, however. 

Benefits Of Working From Home

Asian business woman work from home with laptop, tablet and computer on table with meeting online and video conferencing.Concept of social distancing to stop the spread disease of Corona virus.

Working from home can feel like the definition of freedom. It comes with so many benefits that it’s no wonder why so many people enjoy working from their couch or home office instead of having to head to the office every morning. 

Save Money

When you work from home, you will save money while simultaneously making money. You can eat lunch in your own kitchen instead of going out for lunch during your lunch hour. You no longer have to spend money on gas or ride-sharing for the commute to work. Also, you don’t have to own an office wardrobe anymore. Instead, you can take that money and put it in your savings account. 

Flexible Hours

One of the main benefits that people enjoy when working from home is that they finally have flexible hours. It’s important to note that this does not apply to all work from home jobs. For example, most call centers require that employees be at their desks and ready to answer the phone during specific hours. Other work from home jobs, such as being a virtual assistant, offers a bit more flexibility. This makes them ideal for single parents that have to juggle being both a full-time parent and full-time employee at the same time. 

You Can Move Anywhere

When you can work from home, you can enjoy the freedom of choosing your location. You can take your job with you on a cross-country move. Some people may be able to take their job with them if they want to take a spontaneous vacation for a week. It simply involves taking your laptop to the beach with you. There is not a single job better than one that can involve sitting on the beach with a Mohito and a laptop. 

No More Office 

There are great things about working in an office, such as socialization. Then, there are the bad things, such as the lack of productivity due to workplace distractions and the annoying co-worker that every office seems to have. Working from home means that you create your own office environment, you socialize with whoever you want, and you can completely avoid all of the office drama that goes hand in hand with a standard 9-5 job. 

It’s Comfortable

No more wearing stuffy clothing, uncomfortable shoes with a pointed toe, and having to cringe at the thought of doing a number two in the office bathroom. Instead, you can finally be comfortable while you work. Enjoy wearing what you want, not worrying about going to the bathroom, and sitting in comfortable furniture as you learn the benefits of working from home. 

Working from home is quickly taking the place of standard office jobs. Now, employees are opting to work from home due to the many benefits that it comes with, such as not having to suffer through a long commute to work. Employers are also enjoying their own benefits, such as not having to own a brick and mortar business anymore. 

References

Personal experience. I work from home, my sister-in-law works from home, and both of my sisters work from home. 

https://www.clicktime.com/blog/top-10-advantages-disadvantages-working-from-home/

https://builtin.com/remote-work/benefits-of-working-from-home

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/05/business/pandemic-work-from-home-coronavirus.html

7 TV Shows You Can Watch Today

Got time to kill but got nothing to watch? Looking to expand your ever filling list of shows to see? On the search for a new series to consume your life? Here are seven TV shows for you to seriously consider watching.

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Tough as Nails

A hard and engaging reality television series. It’s a competition where 12 everyday people participate in challenging trials in real world job sites. The challenges are very tough and is endlessly thrilling to see in action. There are team challenges and individual competitions, and “Overtime” where the two contestants that were the last on the individual competitions will compete in this elimination round.

Differing from most reality competitions, the eliminated get to stay. They lose their spot in the individual challenges (and the chance to win the grand prize and moniker Tough as Nails champion), but they are still able to join in the Team challenges to potentially win $12,000 on each episode. The team that wins most of the team competitions will get an additional prize of $60,000 by the end of the season.

Tough as Nails is a new American competition TV show hosted and created by Emmy Award-winning producer Phil Keoghan. He also serves as executive producer along with Louise Keoghan and Anthony Carbone. Before hitting the sack, you can watch Tough as Nails on CBS All Access.

The Mandalorian

A live action spin-off from the the Star Wars universe. It’s an action-adventure show in the aftermath of the fall of the Empire. It follows a lone bounty hunter as he goes on missions in the outer reaches of the galaxy. It has a fun western style to it, but set in space.

The Mandalorian is a 2019 American web television series created by Jon Favreau. It features Nick Nolte, Gina Carano and Taika Waititi amongst its cast. Former Game of Thrones actor Pedro Pascal stars as the Mandalorian.

The Mandalorian has one season and eight episodes in total with a next season in works. Its episode length is about 29 to 38 minutes. You can watch it now on Disney+. 

The Office

It’s an American sitcom about life in the office. It’s a mix of comedy and mockumentary, and it depicts life in the office in a creative way. That may be the reason why it became such a big hit.

There’s also a UK version, which is actually the original and pioneering series. Both were created by Ricky Gervais. But the US show seems to be more popular in many countries. One of the main stars is the famously known comedian Steve Carrell.

There are 9 seasons with a total of 201 episodes in the show, featuring stars John Krasinski and Mindy Kaling among its cast. You can watch an episode for about 22 minutes, something good to watch while on a break and scrolling through good ole’ Netflix. It’s been reported that NBC will be taking back its show to put in its own new streaming service, Peacock, sometime in early 2021.

Avatar: The Last Airbender

ATLA is set in a fantasy world inspired mostly by Asian culture. There, the people have the ability to “bend” the four elements of water, earth, fire, and air. The show features amazing characters with complex and emotionally touching stories. It has the right mix of comedy, drama, and action-adventure. And It also touches on thought-provoking concepts that kid shows rarely do.

The Last Airbender is an US animated series created by Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko. It was originally released on ‎Nickelodeon. It’s short compared to other series, but it’s one of the only shows that managed to do and end well. An all-time favourite for sure!

It has a count of 3 seasons and 61 episodes in total with an average episode length of 23 minutes.  It’s streaming now on Netflix and CBS All Access. A must watch show with the family!

The Masked Singer

A light-hearted and fun singing competition between celebrities disguised in colorful and lively costumes. Their true identities are largely unknown and kept under wraps. It is left to the panelists and the audience to try to guess who’s behind the mask with only the singing vocals of these masked celebrities and their own hints.

The Masked Singer originated from South Korean’s King of Mask Singer. It has now spawn off several international adaptations including those from the United Kingdom and Australia. Thailand is now on its tenth season of this year.

The American version airs Wednesday nights on Fox, and you can stream it on Hulu too. The Masked Singer’s prominent panel members are singer-songwriter Robin Thicke, American pop culture expert Jenny McCarthy, media personality Nicole Scherzinger, and the hilarious Ken Jeong, with Nick Cannon as the show’s host. 

Kingdom 

A horror-thriller with an interesting take on the undead rising and a political power struggle between a powerful clan and the nation’s Crown Prince set in the Joseon period. It’s a fascinating blend of Asian history and the zombie genre. It may well have you on the edge of your seat, and it won’t be just because of the zombies.

Kingdom premiered as a Netflix South Korean original series in 2019. The web television series was created by Kim Eun-hee who was also the author of its original web comic series, The Kingdom of the Gods. Kingdom has currently 2 seasons and 12 episodes in total.

Community

Another American sitcom, this one is set in a community college called “Greendale”. It centers on a memorable group of characters coming together as they go through community college and encounter quirky situations. It played off its meta humor well and brought lots of entertainment to its fans.

Community was created by Dan Harmon. It has six seasons and a total of 110 episodes. It features Joel McHale, Ken Jeong and Alison Brie among its cast. Community was originally on NBC and briefly Yahoo! Screen. Now you can stream the series on Netflix.

Final Thoughts

These TV shows are all available online for your entertainment and emotional investment, and the best thing is that you don’t even have to wait to get home on your couch, as streaming services like Netflix and CBS All Access enables viewers to watch on the go.

References

https://www.cbs.com/shows/tough-as-nails/

https://www.disney.com.au/disney-plus/the-mandalorian

https://www.fox.com/the-masked-singer/

Best American Reality TV Singing Shows

You are an unknown singer, you get on a reality TV singing show, and you become a superstar – sounds like the American dream right? For many young people who see stardom as an ideal to be achieved, this is very much the American dream. 

Today, we are still obsessed about finding singing fame through reality TV and there are numerous reality TV singing shows still on the air. Music has a way of connecting people; there is much that divides us, but we are often united through music. 

Let’s take a look at a few American reality TV singing shows that still grace our TV screens today. 

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American Idol 

American Idol can be said to be the original reality TV singing show that has spawned numerous spin-offs around the world. It wasn’t the first reality TV singing show ever to air, but it perfected the format and catapulted a few singers to genuine superstardom, such as the likes of Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood.  

It was made popular because of the very American idea that anybody can make their way to the top as long as they work hard. During the audition phase of the competition, we got to hear deeply personal and often heartbreaking stories of people who have overcome tremendous odds to pursue their dreams. We always want the underdog to succeed, and in this show, there are plenty of underdogs. 

Of course, there was another element to the monstrous success of this show: the larger than life judges. Simon Cowell, one of the harshest judges on the show, quickly made a name for himself as a no-nonsense straight shooter. Paula Abdul was always known as the sweet judge, and Randy Jackson, the cool one. Their obvious chemistry made them extremely watchable, and they were truly stars in their own right. 

The Voice 

The Voice is arguably the best reality TV singing show that followed in American Idol’s footsteps. It was founded on a captivating premise – during the audition rounds, the judges’ backs were literally turned away from the auditioning singer so that the singer would be judged purely on the merits of their voice (hence the title). If the judges like the singer’s voice, they would turn around to finally see them and bid for the singer to join their team. 

There is something theatrical about this format, and it certainly made for great TV. What made The Voice so intriguing is that the judges were actively involved in the competition. The judges also acted as mentors for the singers who join their group, and they get to decide who is the last singer remaining in their group to battle it out into the finale.  

The Voice connected with audiences due to the simple premise that in a singing competition, the voice should be what matters the most – not looks or celebrity or connections. Of course, audiences also loved the way the judges dramatically turned around during the audition stage to face the singers that they liked. Like every successful reality TV show, it succeeds on a strong premise and a dramatic presentation. 

The Masked Singer

The Masked Singer is one of the newest entrants to the reality TV singing show game. Unlike most reality TV singing shows, this show does not feature relative unknowns trying to make it big; instead, it is a show about celebrities competing against each other with one huge twist – they wear masks during the entire competition to conceal their identities. 

The idea behind this format is that celebrities are often recognized and praised for the sake of their established fame, and after a while, it is no longer about actual talent. By wearing masks to conceal their identities, celebrities are once again given the opportunity to be appreciated purely on the merits of their talent. What an ironic world we live in – normal people want to be famous and famous people want to be normal.  

There is an added element of fun about having masked singers compete against each other in a reality TV show. Firstly, the masks and costumes are elaborately designed and are truly visual feats. Secondly, audiences are given the opportunity to speculate freely about the identities of the masked singers. At the end of the competition, the singers are unmasked to great cheers. 

America’s Got Talent 

America’s Got Talent is not strictly a singing show – it is more accurately described as a variety show because it features all kinds of acts, including magicians, stuntpersons, and comedians. However, singers who audition for the show tend to do very well and several singers have won the annual competition.  

The reason that singers do so well on the show is that there is something universal about singing – while acts such as comedy and performance arts can elicit different reactions from different audiences, something about the human voice enchants and enthralls us all. This is particularly true if the singer has a relatable backstory – something about the human voice can convey loss and heartbreak, even without referencing them directly.  

America’s Got Talent and American Idol are two very different shows, but they have one thing in common: Simon Cowell. Simon Cowell sits as a judge on the show, and unlike his earlier years in American Idol, he has toned down his acerbic personality and is much more constructive in his feedback. 

America’s Got Talent is ultimately a feel-good show. During the audition phase, a judge can express his or her approval and delight by pressing the ‘golden buzzer’, which causes golden confetti to rain down on the contestant. When this happens, the audiences erupt with cheers, and the contestant is usually visually overwhelmed. The visuals of this make for truly great TV. 

Conclusion

American reality TV singing shows have come to define American TV for the past two decades, and it is showing no signs of decline – new shows reimagine the format and capture new audiences. For example, Netflix has a reality TV singing show entitled ‘Rhythm+Flow’ which exclusively focus on rappers.  

The one singular thread that runs through all American reality TV singing shows is of course the singing. There is still something magical about the human voice that captures the imagination. This is true across all cultures and is one thing that truly makes us human. As long as this is true, reality TV singing shows are here to stay. 

References

  1. Wikipedia: American Idol (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Idol)
  2. Wikipedia: The Voice (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Voice_(franchise))

Tracking Your Physical Activities

Today, so much of our lives are conducted digitally – we can order food online, make financial transactions online, and even work or study online. This has contributed to the problem of many of us living rather sedentary lifestyles, with little meaningful physical activity. 

Of course, the one thing that we cannot do online is exercise. We can watch tutorial exercise videos, but physical activity has to be conducted in the real world.

We all know that physical activity is vital to our health. Without meaningful physical activity, we become vulnerable to diseases such as obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Just how can we track our physical activity to make sure that we are getting enough of it in our daily lives? 

Let’s first look at the importance of tracking our physical activities and then look at some ways we can do so. 

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Importance of Tracking Your Physical Activities 

When it comes to physical activity, we often think that we have enough of it and that we are too busy to make time for any more. We think of our commute to work and our walk to and from our offices to lunch – surely that is sufficient? 

However, when we properly track our physical activities and compare that to the amount recommended to us by fitness experts, we might notice that we fall short. This is one reason why tracking your physical fitness is so important – it allows us no place to hide and gives us an opportunity to confront our lifestyle choices. 

Tracking your physical activities is also great if you want to set fitness goals. It might be as simple as having a daily target for the number of steps to take or the number of miles to run in a week. The point is, tracking your physical activities allows you to set clear fitness goals and even increase those goals and time progresses. 

Having fitness goals is also likely to motivate you to reach them – after all, if you can make those goals you can surely at least try to keep them. For example, if you have a goal of going for a jog a few times a week, it might just motivate you to wake up a little earlier or return from work a little earlier to make time for the jog. 

Life is all about making and achieving your goals, and we often feel good when that happens. This is why fitness goals are so important – in keeping them, we feel a sense of achievement. More importantly, it also allows us to keep our physical health in check. Thus, tracking your physical activities can yield tremendous benefits.  

Ways To Track Your Physical Activities 

Having discussed the importance of tracking your physical activities, let’s turn to a few ways that this can be done. 

Using a Smartwatch 

Smartwatches today are so much more than just accessories, they can also provide really good information about your physical activities. They are part of a batch of wearable technologies that are becoming increasingly popular in our world today. 

Most smartwatches are equipped with fitness trackers that allow you to track the number of steps you take, your heartbeat, and your sleep quality. They can do this passively, so all you need to do is to wear the smartwatch all day and it will do the tracking for you, as long as the settings are switched on. 

Smartwatches make tracking physical activities really simple, and all you need to do at the end of each day is to check your fitness statistics – have you taken the number of steps that you planned? Has your heartbeat increased notably during physical exercise? After checking those statistics, you can then plan on how to improve on them the following day. This allows you to create achievable fitness goals that can ultimately improve your health.  

Using A Fitness App 

Another device you likely have on you right now that you can use to track your physical activities is your cellphone. As most of us use smartphones today, you can download a fitness app that can be used to track your physical fitness. 

There are many fitness apps to choose from – some are free and some are subscription-based. Fitness apps can function very similarly to the physical tracking settings on a smartwatch. For example, there are running apps that allow you to track the distance that you cover when running. These apps are also able to map out where you have been running. They also allow you to save the results so you can compare your running activities and set goals. 

There are also fitness apps that can design workout routines that are unique to you. All you need to do is to key in your basic information, such as age and weight, and the apps use algorithms to work out a suitable exercise plan for you. This also allows you to track your physical activities and to gradually increase the intensity as you see fit. 

Having A Fitness Diary 

Let’s put modern gadgets aside for a moment. The traditional way of tracking your physical activities is to keep a fitness diary in which you record your daily or weekly physical activities. You can also keep track of the foods that you eat in a day and track the number of calories consumed versus the number of calories burned.  

The benefit of having a fitness diary is that there is an added intentionality to the task that sets it apart from using smartwatches or fitness apps. Instead of letting a device passively track your physical activities, keeping a fitness diary means that you have to spend time to intentionally recall your physical activities of the day. This adds an element of self-reflection that can be very useful in planning your physical lifestyle.  

Final Thoughts 

As we have seen in this article, tracking your physical activities is important because it allows you to set fitness goals and motivates you to achieve them. We can track our physical activities by either use smartwatches and fitness apps, or opt for the more traditional method of keeping a fitness diary.  

Ultimately, there is nothing more important than our health because without it we are seriously impaired to do much else. If you haven’t already, start tracking your physical activities and begin to live a healthier lifestyle today!

References

  1. Wikipedia: Fitbit 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fitbit

  1. Nike+

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nike%2B

Sleep Well: Keys To Waking Up Refreshed

When you don’t get a good night’s sleep it can affect your overall productivity, your mood, and even your coping skills. People that do not enjoy waking up feeling refreshed also experience slower reaction times in emergencies. Lack of sleep slowly takes it’s toll on both your mental and physical health. If you can’t find out why you wake up tired every morning, try these tips to finally enjoy being able to sleep well. 

Head To The Doctor For Untreated Conditions

There are several medical conditions that can keep you up at night, or result in you feeling as though you did not get enough sleep. Anxiety, ADHD, and mood disorders often have insomnia listed as a side effect of the condition. Other medical conditions, such as Thyroid Disease, can make a person feel chronically fatigued, which leads to them thinking that they are not getting enough sleep. If you feel chronically tired, schedule an appointment with your primary care physician to inquire about possible underlying health conditions. 

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Relax At Night

When days are hectic, it makes sense that nights will become sleepless. Sometimes, eliminating stress from the day is impossible. This doesn’t mean that you’re cursed to not being able to fall asleep, though. Two hours before going to bed, take extra steps to relax at night. 

Drink Tea

Chamomile, vanilla, and sleepy-time tea are all known for helping people relax. They calm the nerves, while the act of sipping warm tea soothes the soul. These can keep some people awake, so it’s important to do a trial run with tea when you don’t have to get up early the next day just in case you are one of the rare individuals that will be up all night. 

Take A Bubble Bath

A bubble bath is a perfect way to relax before bed. As you soak amongst the bubbles, close your eyes, and take deep breaths. This will calm down your mind while the warm water relieves the tension in your aching muscles. 

Practice Relaxation Techniques

Practicing relaxation techniques, such as meditation, yoga, or deep breathing exercises can help a person fall asleep at night. Tension and stress build-up throughout the day, making it next to impossible to sleep at night. Relaxing, however, can help you be in the mental state that you need to sleep. 

Limit Caffeine Later In The Day

It can take hours for caffeine to stop affecting you. Because of this, experts recommend that individuals that enjoy caffeine avoid it after 2 pm. If you stay up late, you can estimate the time you should stop drinking coffee or pop as seven hours before you go to bed. Caffeine can be found in coffee, chocolate, and some teas. If you do drink tea, make sure that it is decaf. 

Keep A Journal

Those that are prone to racing thoughts keeping them awake, such as individuals with an anxiety disorder, will benefit greatly from keeping a journal beside their bed. When thoughts start racing through your mind, write them down. This helps get them out of your head, so to speak. You can also make a list of things that are going through your mind so that you can address them in the morning after a great night’s sleep. 

Provide Yourself With The Perfect Bedroom

In order to sleep better, it’s important that your bedroom provides the perfect environment to help you sleep well. Most of us have an environment that can keep us awake without us realizing it. 

Get Rid Of The Television

Blue light, such as the light that comes from television and phone screens, can keep us awake at night. When you have a television in your room, it can be tempting to watch a movie until you feel drowsy. However, this often results in getting less sleep than you would if you waited on your body to get drowsy on its own. 

This is because blue light reduces the amount of melatonin in our bodies. Melatonin helps us relax and can help us fall asleep. This is why melatonin supplements are one of the most popular sleep aids. 

The Ideal Temperature

If your bedroom is too hot or too cold, it can keep you up at night. While most people associate being too hot with interrupting sleep, being too cold can do the same thing. The perfect temperature for most people to fall asleep and stay asleep is approximately 70 degrees. Some people like the temperature a few degrees higher or lower, which is also fine. 

Limit Noise

Excessive noise can make it more difficult to fall asleep. Noise from a loud party next door, family members, or the living-room television can all lead to sleepless nights. Try to limit noise when possible. For example, ask other household members to be considerate of you going to bed earlier than them. If noise cannot be limited, invest in earplugs or pick up some earbuds to listen to soothing nature sounds while going to sleep. 

White Noise

If it’s impossible to fall asleep and stay asleep due to noise, pick up something that creates a white noise. This could be a fan or air conditioner. There are also white noise machines on the market that can mask outside noise. These will not only help block out noise while you’re trying to fall asleep, but they will also continue to do so to help you stay asleep while outside noise is present. 

Get Comfortable

There is nothing that can keep you up at night quite as itchy sheets can. The same applies to uncomfortable pajamas, mattresses, and pillows. Make sure that you’re comfortable at night so that you can enjoy being able to sleep well. 

When we get a good night’s sleep, we enjoy an improved mood, increased productivity, and having the ability to function as well as we should be able to. People that sleep well are better problem solvers as well. Follow these tips to finally enjoy being able to sleep well. 

References

https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/coffee-caffeine-sleep-what-time-stop-drinking-e

nergy-science-a8733661.html

https://www.helpguide.org/articles/sleep/getting-better-sleep.htm

https://ohsonline.com/articles/2020/01/10/blue-light-what-is-it-and-how-does-it-affect-us.aspx

Simple Tips For Recharging And Protecting Your Battery

Considering the vast array of demands we put on with our smartphones and similar devices, it just stands to reason that your battery goes through a lot. If you’re trying to make the most of your battery, charging it correctly is your first line of defense. Another would be knowing where to tweak your power settings to maintain the best possible balance between performance and battery endurance.

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Don’t Wait To Replace

Let’s be honest: For most devices, replacing the lithium-ion battery on your device can be a hassle. It can be time-consuming and costly. To the point where some might suggest simply getting another phone. 

Rather than go that route, let’s take a look at some general charging that anyone can keep in mind. 

Is Partial Charging My Device A Good Idea?

Erasing battery memory is no longer something you need to worry about. In other words, you do not need to fully discharge and then recharge your device’s battery. Not only is partially charging a device fine for lithium-ion batteries, but it can actually benefit its overall longevity.

In other words, charging your phone at around 50%, and then letting it off the charger at around 70-80% is a good way to get the most out of a charging cycle.

Don’t Leave The Device Plugged In All Night!

This also means not leaving your phone or similar device to charge overnight. Even as your device reaches a full charge, keeping it connected can begin to drain the battery’s storage potential as time goes on. Essentially, a lot of our tips are going to come down to the fact that you don’t want to charge the device for too long 

The only time overnight charging is fine is when you can set your device to the slowest possible charge. Even then, you generally don’t want to leave it plugged in all night.

Do I Really Need Fast Charging?

Fast charging is obviously pretty appealing. We rely on our devices more and more. Fast-charging options promise a short turnaround to getting your phone charged. However, the tradeoff here is that your battery degrades more quickly.

Fast-charging puts a lot of stress on your batter. So, while charging on your computer, or using a smart plug, can get your battery charged faster, the resulting stress means your battery is going to lose its luster over a fairly short period of time. 

Let’s Talk About Extending Your Battery Life

Extending the life of your battery is one of the smartest ongoing things you can do, in terms of avoiding the need to replace an ion-lithium battery at any point over the span of your device.

What do you imagine uses the most juice from a battery on your smartphone or other device? If you answered the screen, then you’re absolutely correct. The brightness of the screen is one of the biggest drains on your battery. Not surprisingly, managing brightness settings on your phone can go a long way towards preserving battery. This in turn means spending less time to charge your device.

Auto-brightness settings are generally fine for preserving battery life. However, if you want to make the most of this idea, a manually maintaining might be your best bet. That means keeping it on the lowest comfortable visibility setting. That also means making such a change whenever there is a change to the surrounding levels of lighting.

Is It Worth Reducing The Timeout On My Screen?

When your device isn’t being used, the screen goes dark, and it eventually goes on what could be described as a low sleep setting. This is obviously good, since it means your device is powering down its resource usage when it is not actually being used.

Still, you may find that messing with this setting to reduce the timeout further can give your battery even more assistance. Some set their timeout to a single minute. Some even go for thirty seconds, before the screen begins to dim and darken. As long as this doesn’t get in the way of your ability to read things on the device, it’s a good idea with appealing long-term benefits.

Consider an automation app, if you want something to help remind you when to manually toggle certain settings to optimize battery shelf life.

Look For The Apps That Are Serious Battery Wasters

Obviously, we aren’t going to insist you stop using your favorite apps. However, most apps have settings that can be tweaked to diminish how much they drain not only your device’s energy, but your data terms, as well.

Facebook is a good example of what we are talking about. Restricting some permissions, including access to your location, auto-play, and notification settings can also reduce how much of your resources is used up by Facebook alone.

Yet Facebook is not the only app you may want to glance at. Check out the battery settings for your most commonly-used apps. Restricting permissions along the lines of what we mentioned with Facebook can reduce the drain on your battery. Furthermore, it also gives these companies less access to your personal information! It’s a win-win! 

Don’t Do Anything But Charge!

Unless it happens to be an emergency, it isn’t a great idea to use your phone while it is charging. Doing so can create mini-cycles, which is essentially a distortion of a normal charging cycle. This can cause your device to become overburdened, with its normal span of lifecycles diminishing to a significant degree. 

Obviously, it is not terribly realistic to insist the device not be used while it is charging. Try to keep the activity as light as possible. If you don’t need your device for anything, consider powering it down while it is charging.

Avoid Heat And Covering Your Device

Extreme heat or cold, not surprisingly, are each bad for your battery in their own way. Don’t leave your device in the car, particularly on a very hot or very cold day. 

Finally, consider removing the case when charging. This can avoid the possibility of your device becoming a barrier that slows down heat dissipation.

References

https://www.androidauthority.com/maximize-battery-life-882395/

https://medium.com/@lauren.c.stephen/13-tips-to-extend-the-lifespan-of-your-phone-battery-16c2af5ca59f

https://www.samsung.com/nz/support/mobile-devices/tips-for-battery-charging-and-how-to-make-your-battery-last-longer/

Keeping Your Home Cool During Summer

The summer season is associated with many things: vacations in the sun, school holidays, and sunbathing in the park. It is the season in which people come alive. 

However, summer is also associated with something less desirable: heat. In moderate quantities, heat can be enjoyable; however, when the temperature rises too high, it can be a source of frustration. 

The temperature is particularly important when it comes to your own home. Because we spend so much time at home, we want the temperature to be as comfortable as possible – not too cold in the winter and not too hot in the summer. What are some ways to keep the home cool in the summer when the heat can become oppressive?  

There are many ways to keep your home cool during the summer, ranging from electronic means such as turning on the air conditioner or the fan, to more traditional means, such as closing the curtains or planting some trees in your garden for shade.  

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Let’s have a look at some of the methods to keep your home cool and comfortable during summer.  

Using An Air Conditioner 

Air conditioners are devices most associated with modern means to keep a home cool. In some countries near the equator of the Earth where it is hot all year round, air conditioners are common in almost every household. However, in countries that experience a rotation of the seasons, they can sometimes be neglected.

Installing an air conditioner is a great home investment because it is likely to be a permanent equipment in your home. Air conditioners are to the summer months what heaters are to the winter months – they regulate the temperature so that you can live comfortably in your own home.  

Air conditioners work by blowing cool air into a room. You can adjust the temperature of your air conditioner by using a remote control – the temperatures usually go as low as 16 degrees Celsius (60.8 degrees Fahrenheit). This means that you can determine precisely how cold you want your home to be. You can also adjust the strength of the air blowing from your air conditioner. 

There are two types of air conditioners: portable ones and window ones. Portable ones can be wheeled about from room to room while window air conditioners are permanent fixtures on your wall. You can determine the right air conditioners to purchase by taking into consideration the size of your home and the specifications that you are after. 

Using A Fan 

A fan is also a modern device closely associated with keeping a home cool. It consumes less electricity than an air conditioner and is also commonly found in households where heat is frequently experienced.  

A fan works in a similar way to air conditioners in that they direct airflow into a room, making you feel cooler. However, a fan does not actually cool air – it simply blows air around in a room. Airflow directed in your direction is what makes you feel cool – it allows the sweat on your body to evaporate more easily. 

There are two kinds of fans: ceiling fans and standing fans. Ceiling fans are permanent installations on your ceilings while standing fans are portable. 

Fans usually have a few different settings, allowing you to control the intensity of the airflow – the greater the intensity, the greater the cooling effect. The one disadvantage to using fans is that they tend to be rather noisy, even more so than air conditioners. However, they are a cheap and effective way of keeping your home cool during summer. 

Closing The Curtains 

We all have windows in our homes – the dilemma that comes with them is whether to open them or not when the weather gets hot outside. On one hand, opening the windows can allow external heat to get inside; on the other hand, it might allow an outside breeze to get in.  

The decision to open your windows during summer is largely dependent on whether there is a breeze coming in – if there is no breeze and the weather is hot, it is best to keep your windows closed. Regardless of whether you keep your windows open or shut, it is always a good idea to close the curtains, or at least keep them almost closed. This is because curtains can protect your home against the heat outside.  

Curtains are effective because they act as physical barriers against heat. The thicker the curtains, the greater its cooling effect on a room when they are drawn. However, the downside to closing the curtains is that you are also shutting out the light and your home might get dark and gloomy as a result. This of course is not a concern if it is already dark outside. 

Grow A Garden 

If you live in a landed house and you have some garden space, it might be a good idea to invest some time into gardening. A well-kept garden always brightens up a home, and it also has an added benefit during the summer months: it can help to keep your home cool.

By planting some trees in your garden, you are providing for your home natural shade. Trees that are tall enough, particularly those that are taller than your house, can cast a shadow towards your house, keeping it cool. Vines also work well to keep your house cool. 

A nice garden also makes for a cooling walk if you ever want to leave the confines of your home to take a breath of fresh air. By having a few trees in your garden to act as shade, you can take a walk outside and not feel too hot, even when the sun is beating down heavily. 

Conclusion 

Keeping your home cool during the summer need not be a difficult task. Simply invest in electronic devices such as an air conditioner or a fan, or try more traditional means such as closing the curtains or growing a nice garden. 

There are other ways to stay cool during the summer, such as taking regular cold showers and drinking cold beverages. At the end of the day, you can always win the battle against the summer heat if you’re willing to make some tweaks and changes in your home.

References

  1. Mirror: Ways to keep your home and room cool in a heatwave so you can relax and fall asleep easily

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/keep-house-cool-heatwave-sleep-10653507

  1. Howstuffworks: How do fans make you feel cooler? 

https://science.howstuffworks.com/question22.htm

How to Make Good Use of the Internet at Home

Stuck at home with nothing to do? With things like the Internet around, that’s a matter that’s easily solved these days. You could just open up a web page and type in funny vids, and you have instant entertainment at your fingertips.

The Internet is vast and kind of limitless, and there’s definitely more out there than just random amusing clips. So here are a few suggestions for you to consider when you’re bored (or not) and looking for something to do with the Internet.

Do Online Work

Getting told to do work isn’t thrilling for most, but if you are one of those who really want to be productive and earn extra cash through the Internet, then consider doing work or a freelance job online.

There’s a lot of freelance work-at-home jobs you can do on the Internet. One of them is online writing There are freelancing writing jobs out there from sites like Freelancer.com and FlexJobs. Upwork and iWriter in particular are one of the most popular freelance writing websites. 

Being a freelance writer is hard work for the mind. Freelance writing will definitely require researching for topics you’re going to be writing about. You need writing skills too. Also, most articles will have deadlines in place. So if that’s not for you, then head down and look for something else you can do. You could just start your own blog at first.

You can also start getting paid from survey sites like PrizeRebel and Survey Junkie. Swagbucks is one paid survey site where you can also earn money in other ways like watching clips, playing games, and searching through their website.

Search for Online Studies

Student studying for exams sitting at home comfortably on a couch. Young man using laptop to study along with books.

You can take advantage of your free time and start getting some free classes on the Internet. There are online learning platforms for educational degrees and certifications you can take classes from.

EdX and Coursera have a wide range of informative courses from universities and institutions for you to choose from. Alison offers over 1,000 courses on workplace skills and other subjects. The courses from these learning platforms are generally free, especially Alison’s, though certain aspects like getting a degree will cost you some money. 

Other free online learning platforms you can check out are Khan Academy, Codecademy and Academic Earth.

Learn New Skills

Tap into your creative nature and get started on DIY projects. Draw and sketch amazing sceneries. Bake a sweet dessert or cook a delicious meal. Plant a flower and watch it thrive in your care. Play an instrument and make music. 

There are so many skills now that you can learn for free just by searching for video tutorials or how-to articles about it on the web. And sometimes there will be very informative social forums and posts about them that you’ll stumble upon on your search.

Here are a few websites for you to start looking at.

  • DIY Network has decorative ideas, how-to repairs, craft projects and more!
  • Instructables is another DIY website where people can post their own creations including instructions.
  • Craft Stylish has tons of how-tos and instructional videos on arts and crafts, hobbies, and other projects.
  • Snapguide is another website where people can post their own how-to guides. It has how-tos on various topics including a section for craft projects. 
  • Pinterest is a popular image-sharing social network. It has many great inspirations for projects, crafts, hobbies, and many other subjects.
  • RapidFireArt offers easy step by step drawing tutorials. This one also has a short drawing course for beginners. You can find one drawing course here
  • Epicurious is a popular cooking website that posts recipes of all kinds of cuisines. It also has a video series on basic cooking skills and other how-to instructions in the kitchen.
  • Allrecipes is aptly named. It has quick and easy how-tos and recipes that make it a great resource for beginners. It also has a cooking school that you can access for a monthly price of $7.50.
  • Baking Mad has baking recipes that are easy to follow. And it offers a section on tips and tricks, including baking videos.
  • JoyofBaking.com has detailed written instructions and video guides on preparing many kinds of baking recipes.
  • YouTube has so many how-to guides and tutorial uploads from users, from playing the guitar to baking a strawberry shortcake.

Establish Your Online Presence

Making social connections within the Internet is good for those looking to start a business of selling products, offering services, or whatever else. You have a free way to advertise and boost what you’re selling or services you’re offering in the communities you’ve befriended. You could go on any social media to start or promote your business through a blog.

Enjoy Personal Entertainment and Recreation

 

The Internet has an abundance of streaming platforms that cost less money compared to going out to the theaters or buying movie DVDs.

  • Popcornflix has lots of free movies and shows for your viewing, and it also has an app for Android and iOS. Popcornflix though is only available in certain countries like the United States and Canada.
  • Tubi is another free streaming platform that has over 20,000 films and TV shows you can watch. 
  • Classic Free Movies is where you can watch tons of classic old films of the past.
  • Hulu offers the latest as well as old beloved TV shows for $5.99 a month.
  • CBS All Access streams top favorite shows. You can also stream their original content. CBS All Access has a monthly charge of $5.99/month.
  • Netflix is one of the most popular streaming platforms right now. The basic subscription plan is $8.99 a month, while the standard is $12.99 a month, and you can have multiple simultaneous streaming options in your one account. 

 

You can have fun with tons of old classic games online on Play CLASSIC Games and Retro Games. You can play classic games like Pacman on Webretrogames.com, and there are also other old arcade games on Emulator Online that you can play. 

Final Thoughts

The Internet is a large storehouse of resources you can take advantage of. From cooking to gaming to studying, and to working, the web gives you access to all those.

References

allrecipes:

https://www.magazine.store/?containerName=i9avtsm51&utm_source=allrecipes.com&utm_medium=owned&utm_campaign=bx_i007arr1w2098da

netflix:

https://help.netflix.com/en/node/24926

Are You Thinking About Doing Some Home Improvement?

Home improvement is one great way to take on a project as a couple or family. Making changes to the look and layout of your home can instantly give your home brand new look. Plus, it can immediately freshen up the home atmosphere.

Making improvements to your home may or may not require a significant amount of money. The choice lies with you. If you’re on a budget, there are simple yet creative ways to improving your home surroundings without spending a lot.

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Clean up Your Surroundings.

This plain task can drastically improve your house in a short time. Before you begin, gather your laundry, dishes, and other things you don’t want to get soiled in the cleaning process. Put them in a safe place. Then take out your cleaning supplies, and start cleaning up.

Sweep away the dust, and pick up the litter around you. Be sure to catch the dust and dirt in the corners of your home. Wipe clean the furniture with a damp rag. And vacuum the walls. Also, deep clean the carpets.

Declutter

Decluttering can be a long process. So it’s okay if you don’t finish this in one go. It’s advisable to take short breaks. Otherwise, you might get overwhelmed and disheartened with all the things you need to sort out.

Start with one room first, and separate your items there in categories you’ll slowly go through. Don’t just blindly throw away things for the sake of decluttering. Think carefully on the items you’re considering to keep or not.

Remember, it’s okay if you want to keep something. Just ask yourself why you want to keep it. Other determining questions to ask yourself as you go through your things are:

  • Does it hold a special sentiment to you?
  • How much does it impact your daily life?
  • Is it something you can do without?
  • Will you still need this in the future?
  • Do you have another item that can readily take its place?

Have a container where you’ll put away the things you will no longer use or need. And have another container next to you for putting the items you still need more time deciding on whether to keep or let go. Make sure to get back to that container within the week or at the latest, the same month.

After you’ve done sorting, settle whether to sell, donate, or give them away to someone in particular.

Repaint your walls

In improving your house, some renovating is sure to come into play. A bit you can start on is repainting the walls. A new color on your walls can greatly freshen up a room.

Latex paints are water-based and is the most common paint type that people buy. Latex paint is quite easy to clean, and it is very durable and long lasting. It also breathes better and dries more quickly than oil-based paint. Latex paint is generally advised for walls and ceilings.

In choosing paint colors to buy, consider the room, and how you want it to look like. Pale green, shades of blue, lavender, and other soft hues give off a calming and tranquil look. Strong shades like gold, orange, and red offer a vibrant look, while shades of neutral hues like warm grey and beige can give off an elegant look.

Redecorate Your Rooms

Be creative in changing up the rooms. And don’t be afraid to go for something quirky if you want. Aside from moving your furniture around and changing their positions, you might want to consider getting new furnishing. Update your worn-out appliances and furniture. You can also replace them with less bulky, compact, or foldable pieces.

Now would also be the perfect time to start on any DIY house projects you’ve planned before but haven’t had the time nor motivation to start doing. Build your own storage shelves for your bathroom essentials or for clearing more space for your kitchen counters. Reuse items around the house and make a decor that you can display on your walls or tables. Search a do-it-yourself instruction on that thing you’ve always wanted to create and start building!

Invest in greens

Now here’s another fun thing to improve on your property. Do some gardening! The yard and garden are also part of your home. So you have to take care of them too. Trim the grass. Polish your decks. And plant flowers and vegetables. Then don’t forget to care for them daily.

Following are some flower and vegetable plants for you to consider. Some of these are perennials and can last throughout the year.

  • Asters. These often bloom in the late summer and autumn. There are over one hundred varieties of Aster. If you have Asters, butterflies will be surely attracted to your garden.
  • Tomatoes. These are perennial tropical plants. They can grow for years and are suitable in many climates except freezing winter.
  • Petunias. These come in different, pretty hues. These summer annuals are quite sturdy. They can cope with heavy weather and high temperatures.
  • Eggplants. These are perennials typically grown like annuals. It’s suggested to start them in indoors first and transplant them later outdoors.
  • Camellias. These are easy to care for after they’re established. These beautiful shrubs are good for an all-year-round garden variant.
  • Kale. This is another easy to grow plant. Kale can also keep growing even in winter. This member of the Brassica family is also usually grown like an annual.
  • Chrysanthemums. These can come in many different lovely hues and shapes. They can grow almost anywhere, though they grow best in a cool to mild climate.

Final Thoughts

Doing any work on your house may be hard work. And the tasks will probably take some time to complete. Just remember to take breaks. Don’t rush, and you’ll be fine.

When you do begin doing some house improvement, be sure to start with a clear vision of how you want things to go. Also don’t be afraid to hire professionals when you need to. And always prioritize your safety while working on anything, especially when handling heavy tools and dangerous equipment.

References

latex paint and quick drying time

https://homeguides.sfgate.com/latex-paint-drying-time-vs-curing-time-72926.html

color and calmness https://www.researchgate.net/publication/314578015_The_Role_of_Colors_in_Stress_Reduction

Make Sure You Enjoy Your Patio With These Tips

Having a patio makes your house the perfect spot for barbecues all summer long. You can enjoy bonfires, relaxing in a hot tub under the midnight sky with your lover and so much more once you have a nice sized patio. If you just got started with your patio, make sure that it’s ready to be the highlight of everyone’s summer and fall with these tips. 

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Entertain On Your Patio

You’ll love your patio a lot more if you can enjoy it with friends and family. Fire up the grill for a holiday or birthday cookouts. Spread out some patio furniture so everyone has a place to sit and don’t forget a deck of cards to play a game or two as the evening winds down. Other great ideas include watching a movie, making a DIY fire pit next to the patio for small bonfires (complete with s’ mores), or enjoying a small, intimate brunch with close friends. 

Find A Way To Repel Bugs

Bugs are a part of spending time outdoors, but you’re going to need to find a way to repel them if you want to enjoy your patio. Common ways that people keep bugs from ruining their time on their patio include: 

  • Citronella candles
  • Bug repelling tiki torches
  • Lemon peels in inconspicuous places
  • Planting lemongrass alongside the patio
  • Cedar shavings
  • Lavender
  • Limes and cloves
  • Opt for LED lights (bugs like these the least)
  • Peppermint 

While all of these can help repel bugs, it’s important that you use enough to keep them off of the entire patio. If you have a nice sized patio, one tiki torch will not work. You’ll quickly discover that bugs stay away from the tiki torch, but attack people on the other side of the patio. Tiki torches and candles will only cover an area of a few square feet. Because of this, you’ll need to purchase several, or use various methods. 

Many people choose to plant lemongrass, lavender, or peppermint around their patio. Then, they place lemon peels behind chairs where other people cannot see them. Last, pick up some citronella candles to place in areas that are not already covered with another method. This is the most cost-effective way to repel bugs so that you can enjoy your patio. 

Design Your Patio For Fun

There are plenty of things that you can do with a patio! Install a hot tub, create an outdoor kitchen, or include a big-screen television for movie night! Transform your patio into a sun room with a fireplace for those cozy winter nights, or throw a barbecue and minibar out there for those awesome neighborhood cookouts. Whatever you envision doing on your patio, make sure your patio is designed for you to have some fun with it. 

Make It Comfortable

Wicker furniture has become a staple in the outdoor furniture department, but that doesn’t mean that you have to have hard wicker furniture to sit on. Instead, opt for large lounge chairs, chaise lounges, or outdoor sofas. Safe the hard metal chairs and wooden benches for when you’re eating and need to sit in front of a table. If you insist on traditional outdoor furniture, such as wicker furniture, pick up some plush outdoor cushions for additional comfort. 

Make Sure It Suits Your Needs

An outdoor area with full surround sound for movies sounds like an awesome idea, but if you don’t want to watch movies outside this isn’t the outdoor solution for you. Instead, you should design your patio to make sure that you enjoy the space. 

What Do You Like To Do Outside?

Do you imagine yourself playing board games with your grandchildren outside? Or do you envision cookouts with a few close friends? Perhaps you don’t like cookouts at all and would rather enjoy the peace and quiet alone in a relaxing atmosphere surrounded by growing tomato plants. Once you decide what you would like to do on your patio, you’ll know exactly how you would like to decorate your patio. 

Consider Your Favorite Season

When discovering how to have fun on your patio, consider what your favorite season is. If you prefer summer, it will be important to make sure that you know how to repel mosquitos, and you should consider providing shade with an oversized umbrella. When winter is your favorite season, you’ll want to make sure that you have a covering to avoid snow on your patio, and a fireplace is a great idea. Enjoy your patio by making sure it will be enjoyed during your favorite season. 

Consider Space

When you are deciding how to decorate your patio so that you can enjoy it, you need to consider the space that you have available. If you don’t want to take things in and out of the house, you’ll need to make sure that you have space to have it all outside. You’ll also want to make sure that you have plenty of room for the design that you have in mind. A smaller patio might not have enough room for a hot tub or a complete outdoor kitchen, for example. 

Lighting

If you’ve just finished your patio, it’s important to make sure that you have ample lighting before you host your first get together. This could be lighting in the form of tiki torches at first. Most people have lighting that is attached to the house and controlled with a switch inside, just like a back porch light is. Solar lights that are put at key intervals around the patio can also be used to provide ample lighting. 

Candles that are used for bug repellant should not be used as a lighting source. They provide minimal lighting, and most candles only burn for 3-4 hours. Three-wick candles might not last that long. 

When you want to enjoy your patio, make sure that you get rid of bugs, are able to enjoy your favorite season, and remember that it’s all about you. Customize your patio so that you an enjoy it however you would like to. 

References

https://www.thespruce.com/enjoy-outdoor-patio-all-year-round-2736339

https://www.mymove.com/home-inspiration/decoration-design-ideas/fresh-fun-patio-ideas-inspire-summer/

https://experthometips.com/natural-ways-to-repel-bugs