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How Reserving a Domain Name Can Boost Creativity

How Reserving a Domain Name Can Boost Creativity
How Reserving a Domain Name Can Boost Creativity

What secrets lie within your creativity? For some, an early morning workout will produce the idea of the century while another person might find journaling to be most helpful. As they say, whatever works for you is obviously helpful. One idea which I have put into practice has been the reservation of domain names. This is a relatively low-cost practice which integrates your concept with the new web media. Let me explain.

Domain names capture a hint of an idea. It might be a project that you are working on or a company that you’d like to start. Each of these needs a domain name for a timely roll-out. There is of course a dilemma- do you create something and then grab a domain after the fact or do you buy the domain and then shape the concept around it? As often is the case, it depends on whom you ask. In my case, domain reservation activates something inside of me, a creative energy that just might click with an idea that I’m working on. In web 2.0, catching a domain might in fact make the difference between a successful product and a flop.

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I’ll use my own story as an example. I started The Daily Saint, a productivity blog, in 2005 as a blog about being involved in ministry work. In the two years since then, my passion for productivity has grown and the blog reflects a more secular angle but the initial ministry component still bubbles up now and again. Ministry is a part of who I am and so I go surfing for domain names. I ask myself, “What name would capture my heart for ministry if I were to start a second blog?” It’s a great process to say the least and it stretches me to think creatively and find a unique angle for a new project.

What else can domain reservation do for you? Domain reservation can be useful in other ways such as:

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Turn an idea into something concrete. When something in your head becomes matched with a website, product or organization, you’ve taken it to another level. An idea has become tangible and concrete.

Turn a concept into something communal. Having a domain name brings your idea into the marketplace, so to speak. By “going public” with your idea, others get to share in its development and maturation.

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Give your ideas accountability. There’s nothing like RSS subscribers to keep you going in the blogging world. When hundreds or thousands of folks are reading your content every day, ideas take on weight and weight equals accountability.

Put some dough behind your creativity. Putting some money into an idea can also bring creativity to another level. With domain reservation at less than $10 per year, it’s an investment worth making.

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Put some routine into your idea. It’s no secret- the best bloggers are “routiners”. They post regularly and well and have exemplary habits when it comes to bringing their ideas into the light.

If you’ve got an idea that you’d like to test on the open market, why not reserve a domain name today to give it some street cred? It’s as easy as searching for what’s available and then making the leap of faith towards commitment.

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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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