No algorithmic feed, no pitch—just a list of articles we published last week for you to scan, bookmark, or enjoy as weekend inspiration.

Highly sensitive and high-achieving? You may fit into this personality type.

Answer these 18 questions to shed new light on what your strengths and weaknesses might be.
by Melody Wilding, LMSW

8 Useful Communication Tips I Used As an Optometrist

Working to improve my communication skills with patients led to insights that any professional can use.
by YL Yeong

Mindfulness Embarrassed Me Until I Saw It’s More Than Hippy-Dippy Nonsense

I grew up with an aversion to anything related to self-improvement that almost made me miss out on the benefits of mindfulness.
by Katrina Paulson

I Tried Day Batching. It Changed My Life.

Choosing specific areas of focus for days of the week gave me the…


Better Humans Podcast

Phones can be time-sucking distractions. They can also be great tools. Mindfulness makes the difference

An iPhone with lock screen that says, “Why am I in your hand?”
An iPhone with lock screen that says, “Why am I in your hand?”
Image courtesy of Niklas Göke

“I’m a writer. And so when I’m on the go, I’m always texting people, communicating, asking things and so on. But I noticed at some point that just because I was using my phone more, it didn’t always mean I was more productive.”

Niklas Göke thinks your toothbrush is the greatest tool of all time.

Why? Because you never forget its purpose and you only use it when you’re supposed to, not a moment longer.

Our phones, however, are an entirely different story.

In this episode, Matt East and Niklas walk through his article “A Phone Setup That Will Make…


How to prepare for the inevitable conditions of fire season: power outages, air quality, anxiety, and evacuations

The city of San Francisco under smoke-filled skies.
The city of San Francisco under smoke-filled skies.
Image credit: Bjorn Bakstad

The past few years of extreme wildfires have left many of us increasingly anxious as we come to recognize that this will be part of our new normal.

What’s become clear, however, is that we don’t need to “prep” for escaping a firestorm as much as we need to prepare for living with the broader effects of ongoing fires—sometimes fires that are quite distant from our homes. Though we count ourselves lucky in those situations, it helps to be prepared for things like power shutoffs, hot weather (which corresponds to our greatest fire risk days), and terrible air quality.

This…


Shocked by my daughter’s accusation, I conducted a small study and used the results to create better digital practices for my family

A mom, dad and two kids laugh together on a couch while looking at something on a device.
A mom, dad and two kids laugh together on a couch while looking at something on a device.
Image credit: Wavebreakmedia.

I spent every weekday afternoon for the last three weeks in the neighborhood park. As a mother with young children, I blended in well. My primary goal, however, was not to watch my children play on the playground. It was to watch other parents interact with their children.

This was far from a scientific study, but I learned a heck of a lot.

Parenting in a Tech-Driven World

If you are a parent and you know other parents, the topic of children and screen time will come up. It’s both universal and inevitable.

In the past, when this topic came up, I had always felt…


8 great guides to launching creative side hustles for fun and profit

Image credit: Vasyl Dolmatov.

One of the things we’re always asking on the Better Humans and its parent Coach.me team is “To what end?” That is, we’re always questioning the pursuit of concepts like personal growth, self-development, and productivity.

It troubles us when we notice people working so hard on these goals that they lose sight of what really matters to them. For example, if you’re a famous business success but you can’t find any happiness in your personal relationships, that’s a big problem. We don’t want any part of it. Why do people try so hard to emulate that?

Happiness in your work…


Follow these three principles to keep moving fast, but slow down just enough to steer well

graphics illustrating key concepts of the article, e.g., light bulb, person thinking, fast/good/cheap Venn diagram
graphics illustrating key concepts of the article, e.g., light bulb, person thinking, fast/good/cheap Venn diagram
All illustrations by the author

There’s one thing I’ve done in leading tech teams that’s improved our performance more than anything else.

It’s been important when I’ve led teams in large companies, but it’s been crucial when leading teams in the more uncertain and unstructured environment of a startup.

I’ve worked on making smarter decisions.

I have to admit that early in my career I bumbled along making decisions quite unconsciously. Bad results often followed. Worse still, I thought that speed was the only metric that mattered in a startup — so everything was a snap decision.

Luckily, I stumbled across the academic work on…


Anne Helen Petersen, Against “Feel Free To Take Some Time If You Need It”:

“That’s the backdrop against which we normalize the maintenance of productivity during a pandemic, a mass…


Choosing specific areas of focus for days of the week gave me the structure I needed to stop stressing out about my gigantic to-do list.

Five colorful plants representing five work days of the week.
Five colorful plants representing five work days of the week.
Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash

Like most freelancers, I have approximately 792 disparate tasks to accomplish throughout my maddeningly short days. Unluckily for me, I’m also epically terrible at focusing. Like, the worst. So, when I remember something more time-sensitive than what I am currently doing, I immediately start doing the new thing. Ooh! Shiny!

The combination of hundreds of tasks and my focusing capacity of a meerkat results in a never-ending pile of stressful and unproductive days for writer/entrepreneur/educator Michelle. And the more stressed I am, the less likely I am to hit that elusive flow state, and the less stuff I get done.


I grew up with an aversion to anything related to self-improvement that almost made me miss out on the benefits of mindfulness.

Woman in hippie-style costume smiling awkwardly as three women sing behind her
Woman in hippie-style costume smiling awkwardly as three women sing behind her
Image credit: CREATISTA.

For some people, the concept of mindfulness is filed as “hippy-dippy nonsense” in their minds. As in, a ridiculous waste of time that serves no real purpose in everyday life. They may assume self-awareness is a natural part of being human, and therefore, there's no need to give it any thought. At least, that’s how I used to think.

Tips like, “focus on your breathing,” and, “find a quiet place to sit and observe your thoughts,” sounded like a bunch of baloney to me. At least until I actually learned what it means to be mindful. …


Working to improve my communication skills with patients led to insights that any professional can use

Happy optometrist talking with patient.
Happy optometrist talking with patient.
Image credit: DragonImages.

Having good and effective communication skills helps you in all aspects of life — from your career to your personal life.

Being an eye care practitioner is rewarding. The satisfaction you get when you can solve visual problems. But sometimes, it’s challenging to explain diseases to your patients.

Here are some tips that I find helpful when I am communicating with my patients, and I believe these can be applied by anyone.

Be Confident

You need to sound confident when you are expressing your thoughts. Even if you need to express uncertainty, you need to speak with conviction.

By sounding confident, your…

Better Humans

The world’s most trustworthy advice on self-improvement by those who have done it themselves.

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