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5 Myths About Phone Charging Debunked

5 Myths About Phone Charging Debunked

Most people in this day and age have a smartphone. This means that the majority of us have access to our social media accounts, mobile games, news, e-mail, and more pretty much anywhere or anytime we need it.

The problem with smartphones is that, because we use them so much, they usually run out of battery fairly rapidly. This means we all carry around extra chargers to bring to work, plug into our cars, and so on and so forth. All of this charging has, quite unexpectedly, led to the emergence of several charging-related myths. I am sure you are already familiar with a couple of them.

All that said, what is the truth about the Lithium-ion batteries powering our pocket computers? What battery-related advice should you believe, and which should you forget about? Find out below.

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1. Never Charge Your Phone Overnight

We have all likely heard this one before, and it probably emerged at a time when battery technology was nowhere near as advanced as it is today. The truth, according to experts like Shane Broesky, is that “leaving your phone plugged in overnight is okay to do.”

Apparently,the technology regulating smartphone batteries has advanced to the point where it knows exactly when to stop feeding a charge into your device. In other words, there is no risk of you “overcharging” your phone and causing damage to the battery, as there are safeguards in place to prevent that from happening.

What you do need to worry about, according to Broesky, is overheating. So, if you are going to leave your phone charging overnight, make sure you place it in a relatively cool area. Also, remove any case you may have put on it so that heat from the battery can escape in a timely fashion.

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2. Let Your Phone Go To 0% Before Charging

I don’t know where this myth came from, but I’ve seen this repeated constantly. What makes this particularly egregious is that completely draining your battery before a charge actually causes it to become more unstable.

Shane Broesky suggests instead that we keep our devices charged “between 50 and 80 percent.” In other words, you should charge your phone intermittently throughout the day instead of waiting to perform a “deep charge” from 0 to 100 percent.

3. Any Charger, Even An Off-Brand Model, Will Work

While it may be tempting to try and save money by purchasing an off-brand charger for your phone, the damage it can do over time might make you think twice. The fact of the matter is that it is always best to use the charger that came with your device, even if you can find another cheaper model that still technically works.

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Experts caution against off-brand chargers for one simple reason: they are “not built with safety in mind.” This means there is a far greater chance of these chargers causing a fire, or harming your battery, than there is with your phone’s proper charger.

4. Turning Off Your Phone Is Useless

While it might seem like an inconvenience to physically turn off our phones from time to time, experts suggest that we do exactly that. Indeed, one Apple Genius employee stated that “in order to maximize battery life, you should [definitely] turn off your phone from time to time.”

This does not mean that you have to always shut down your phone before bed, or do it on a daily basis. That would defeat the purpose of having an always-ready-to-use smartphone. You should, however, try and shut down or properly restart your device at least one a week, as this has been proven to conserve your device’s battery life over time.

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5. Don’t Use Your Phone While It’s Plugged In

As long as you are using the charger that came with your phone, or a certified replacement made by the same company, it is perfectly fine to use your phone while it is charging.

This myth does have a bit of a chilling origin, however. While it is safe to use your smartphone whilst charging it with its proper charger, it is not recommended to do so when using a third-party charger, as that may lead to the phone exploding, or worse, electrocuting the user.

While there is only a slim chance of that happening, you still shouldn’t risk it. Off-brand, third-party chargers might be cheap, as mentioned previously, but they don’t work as efficiently with your phone’s battery, meaning there’s a much higher chance of it overheating and possibly injuring  you or others during periods of extended use.

Well folks, that is about all I have when it comes to charging myths. Were you familiar with any of these? Were you fooled by a few of them previously, like I was? I’d love to hear your comments below!

Featured photo credit: Gray #3/Phil Roeder via flickr.com

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Last Updated on October 15, 2019

To Automate or not to Automate Your Personal Productivity System

To Automate or not to Automate Your Personal Productivity System

We are all about doing things faster and better around here at Lifehack. And part of doing things faster and better is having a solid personal productivity system that you use on a daily basis.

This system can be just about anything that helps you get through your mountain of projects or tasks, and helps you get closer to your goals in life. Whether it’s paper or pixels, it doesn’t really matter. But, since you are reading Lifehack I have to assume that pixels and technological devices are an important part of your workflow.

“Personal Productivity System” defined

A personal productivity system (at least the definition that this article will use) is a set of workflows and tools that allow an individual to optimally get their work done.

Workflows can be how you import and handle your photos from your camera, how you write and create blog posts, how you deploy compiled code to a server, etc.

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Tools are the things like planners, todo managers, calendars, development environments, applications, etc.

When automation is bad

You may be thinking that the more that we automate our systems, the more we will get done. This is mostly the case, but there is one very big “gotcha” when it comes to automation of anything.

Automation is a bad thing for your personal productivity system when you don’t inherently understand the process of something.

Let’s take paying your bills for example. This may seem very obvious, but if you can’t stick to a monthly budget and have trouble finding the money to make payments on time, then automating your bill payment every month is completely useless and can be dangerous for your personal finances.

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Another example is using a productivity tool to “tell you” what tasks are important and what to do next. If you haven’t taken a step back and figured out just how your productivity systems should work together, this type of automation will likely keep you from getting things done.

You can only automate something in your personal productivity system that have managed for a while. If you try to automate things that aren’t managed well already, you will probably feel a bit out of control and have a greater sense of overwhelm.

Another thing to remember is that some things should always be done by yourself, like responding to important emails and communicating with others. Automating these things can show your coworkers and colleagues that you don’t care enough to communicate yourself.

When automation is good

On the other hand, automation is a great thing for your personal productivity system when you understand the process of something and can then automatically get the steps done. When you know how to manage something effectively and understand the step-by-step process of a portion of your system, it’s probably a great time to automate it.

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I have several workflows that I have introduced in the last year that takes some of the “mindless” work from me so I can be more creative and not have to worry about the details of something.

On my Mac I use a combination of Automator workflows, TextExpander snippets, and now Keyboard Maestro shortcuts to do things like automatically touch-up photos imported from my iPhone 4S or open all the apps and websites needed for a weekly meeting to the forefront of my desktop by typing a few keys. Once you open yourself up to automating a few of your processes, you start to see other pieces of your system that can benefit from automation.

Once again; none of this works unless you understand your processes and know what tools you can use to get them done automatically.

The three steps to determine if something is “ripe” for automation

If your workflow passes these three steps, then automate away, baby:

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  1. You can do this process in your sleep and it doesn’t require your full, if any form of attention. It can (and has been) managed in some form prior to automating it.
  2. The process is time consuming.
  3. The process doesn’t require “human finesse” (ie. communicating and responding to something personally)

Automating your personal productivity systems can be a great for you in the long run if you are careful and mindful of what you are doing. You first need to understand the processes that you are trying to automate before automating them though. Don’t get stuck in thinking that anything and everything should be automated in your life, because it probably shouldn’t.

Pick and choose these processes wisely and you’ll find the ones that take up most of your time to be the best ones to automate. What have you automated in your personal productivity system?

Featured photo credit: Bram Naus via unsplash.com

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