Stop Trying to Give Up Coffee


When we last rounded up our staff’s Weekly Upgrades, our editors were gratitude journaling, crafting the perfect sandwich, and easing back into our exercise routines.

This week, we’re making our inboxes a little more pleasant, creating a place for everything (and everything in its place), mixing up our evening plans, and updating our headshots.

What upgrades did you make this week? Let us know in the comments.

Turn your inbox into a source of inspiration

We recently highlighted our favorite newsletters, but I realized there are so many more that make me smarter and turn me on to new people, things and concepts. Laura Olin’s includes interesting links and job opportunities for writers and strategists, Jocelyn K. Glei’s (she also has a great podcast, Hurry Slowly) is all about living more conscientiously and filling your time with the things that matter, and Mollie Chen, the founder of BirchBox, has a super honest newsletter that gives advice on careers, motherhood, unplugging, and much more. They make my weeks much better when they arrive in my inbox.

alicia adamczyk, staff writer

Break up mealtime monotony with a subscription box

My girlfriend and I signed up for Blue Apron because we’re both lazy remote workers that want everything brought to us. Both of us were decent cooks already, but it’s been a lot of fun learning to cook simple recipes that are outside of our wheelhouse. It’s a fun couple activity, too! Last night we made some harissa glazed drumsticks with veggies together and it was very tasty.

patrick allan, staff writer


Invest in professional headshots

I had some new photos taken for all my profile pics, and I feel 30 percent more professional, at least on the internet. Next time, I won’t wait another eight years to do this. One neat thing: My photographer friend sent me my photo in five different colors, in case I get tired of the yellow.

michelle woo, parenting editor

Add some variety to your social circle

I got a drink with someone I met during “pick my brain” month; he works in tech and we talked about tech addiction, podcasts, and keeping up friendships in adulthood. Sometimes my old friends and I get sick of each other’s pet conversation topics, so it’s nice to have someone new to hash all that stuff out with.

nick douglas, staff writer

Stop fighting your caffeine addiction

I’m not quite sure this counts as an upgrade, but it has been to me. After months of on and off struggles to cut out coffee, I realized something: coffee was never really doing me any harm, I didn’t feel notably better without it (in fact, I felt worse, and just generally resentful), and the whole thing was a fruitless, misguided attempt at some kind of vague self-improvement. So I started drinking coffee again, this time without any weird self-imposed guilt. Not in mass quantities, to be fair, but adding back a cup or two a day has improved my quality of life exponentially. I chalk this up to a lesson in choosing your battles.

virginia k. smith, managing editor


Hang your hat

Thanks to a recent bout of inclement weather and my genetic disposition toward baldness, I’ve taken to wearing a baseball cap whenever I head outside. Unfortunately my dog has taken to dozing off with said hat whenever it’s not on my head. He was obviously trying to teach me a lesson every time he slept on, licked, or dragged my cap around the floor: put your stuff away. So I bought an adhesive wall hook, stuck it to my bookcase, and made a pretty cool place to conveniently store my cap. Everybody wins.

patrick austin, staff writer

Make the most out of your work travel

I upgraded my life from the warm, lovely San Francisco Bay Area to the snownado-filled streets of New York City—but only for a week. While visiting Lifehacker HQ, I tested all sorts of new ways to keep people from handing me flyers or bugging me about getting a photo with their costumed selves, and I researched different techniques for encouraging tourists to GTFO of the way. I was unsuccessful at getting Bernadette Peters to acknowledge my existence during my trip, but I was able to protect my wallet from the siren call of every item in the Hamilton pop-up store.

david murphy, senior tech editor

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