When we last rounded up our staff’s Weekly Upgrades, our editors were buying kayaks, learning history via podcast, rediscovering the joys of community radio, and using jetlag to our advantage.
This week, we’re devising more efficient ways to do housework, buying more gear to go with that kayak, shaking up our cocktail orders, and asking readers for help choosing new, time-wasting apps.
What upgrades did you make this week? Let us know in the comments.
Work chores into the routine you already have
I have found my ability to "get things done" plummeting recently, especially when I could just go outside and take a walk, borrow a page from Beth and try out kayaking, or just stay nice and comfortable in my bed.
That said, I have started to adopt the classic "do something when you're being lazy" technique, and it's helped! For example, rather than blocking out an hour (or two) to clean the entire bathroom, I organise, move or wipe one thing every time I go in the bathroom.
Grabbing food from a kitchen shelf? Organise one item in that shelf as penance. Playing another Starcraft 2 co-op match? Bookmark a few browser tabs and finally close them. Et cetera. Baby steps.
David Murphy, Senior Tech Editor
Crowdsource your next app store download
I downloaded some new mobile games to play while I listen to podcasts on my commute. But none of them really worked for me. I need more suggestions of one-handed, non-time-sensitive, offline games that don't require sound. I love Threes and Imbroglio but I'm getting so sick of them. Help!
Nick Douglas, Staff Writer
Get your outdoor gear in order
I've made some kayak-related upgrades. I returned my rookie life vest after one uncomfortable outing, and exchanged it for one that's made for paddling. I bought a proper tie-down kit and practised until I can strap the boat to my car in seven minutes flat.
And I discovered that a foldable IKEA backpack, while not waterproof, is perfect for hauling all my other junk down to the lake (I just sling it over my shoulder) and securing to the boat (with a carabiner). Anything valuable gets sealed in a Ziploc bag inside of it, and off I go.
Beth Skwarecki, Health Editor
Alter your own perception of time
I took a trip over to Portugal recently. As you may know, much of Europe uses the 24-hour clock rather than the 12-hour AM/PM system. I switched the Time & Date settings on my phone to military time to fit in, and I'm still using it now that I'm back.
At first it was odd (remembering to subtract 12 from everything) but now I've come to prefer it. It makes the day feel much longer and more productive.
Adam Powers, Video Producer
Keep your eye makeup from melting off
I got an eye make up primer, which has greatly improved my face, because it keeps my eye liner and shadow from sliding off my greasy eye lids.
Claire Lower, Food & Beverage Editor
Get yourself a new and improved drink order
Normally my upgrades fall under the "self improvement" category, but this week, it's just a drink. Our Food & Beverage editor Claire was in the New York offices this week, and introduced me to the joys of the Ferrari - a simple drink that's just equal parts Campari and Fernet (on the rocks or neat, depending on your preference).
I'd been on a big Fernet kick anyway - it's good for my gut health, is how I justify it - and don't like drinking it straight, but don't usually want it with coke, either. This presents the ideal solution, and I plan to be drinking it for a long time.
Virginia K. Smith, Managing Editor