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  • gretchenrubin 21:48:00 on 2017/09/06 Permalink
    Tags: , Clutter-busting, , , , , ,   

    Podcast 133: Create a Spot of Transition, Accountability for Introverts–and Is There a Correct Way to Load a Dishwasher 

    Update: I’m excited because my new book, The Four Tendencies, hits the shelves in just SIX days. Not long now!

    Remember, as a thank-you for people who pre-order the book, I’m making my videos series free for people who pre-order. All the details are  here. You’ll get the overview video as well as subject videos on using the Four Tendencies at work, with spouses and sweethearts, with children and students, and in health-care settings.  Free now; after the book comes out, there will be a charge for the video series.

    I’m looking forward to heading to Los Angeles, and many other cities, on my book tour. Info here if you’d like to come to an event. If you’re in the Los Angeles area, and you’d like to come to the meet-up from 5:00-7:00 p.m. September 17, go onto the free Better app and under the tab “Events,” look for “Los Angeles Meet-up with Gretchen and Liz.”

    1pix
    happier podcast things in transition
    Try This at Home: Create a place for things in transition. Having a system for things in transition helps a household or office to be more efficient, and also removes the visual clutter of having stuff out.

    Here’s a photo of my “spot of transition.” Library books to return are on the left, books to give away are on the right, and there’s room for other things in transition. Elizabeth and I will work on her spot of transition when I visit her in L.A.

    Happiness Hack: As I describe in my books The Happiness Project and Happier at Home, I love my system of organizing my daughters’ paper-based mementos (birthday party invitations, our family Valentine’s cards, school photo, etc.): years ago, I bought two durable, slightly-more-attractive-than-cardboard file-boxes, added a file folder for each school year, and now I add anything worth saving.

    It’s organized, visually appealing, space-efficient — and it’s so satisfying to know exactly where to put the official camp photo or the special birthday card.

    Above is a photo of Eleanor’s box. You could choose any kind of file-box, but if you’re curious about the one I used, it’s here.

    Know Yourself Better: Do you have strong views about the right way to load a dishwasher? I’m astonished by how passionately people will argue about this topic.

    Listener Question: Jenna is an Obliger who is shy. She wants to create the outer accountability that she needs as an Obliger, to meet her inner expectations — but doesn’t like meeting in groups.

    I suggest that she might consider joining an accountability group on my free “Better” app — find the app here or search in the app store under “Better Gretchen Rubin.”

    Speaking of Obligers, if you want to take the Quiz to tell you whether you’re an Upholder, Questioner, Obliger or Rebel, it’s here. Or to learn even more, buy The Four Tendencies book.

    Gretchen’s Demerit: I’m going too fast. I remind myself, “Go slow to go fast.”

    Elizabeth’s Gold Star: Gold star for whiteboards! At home and at work.


    Free Resources:

    1. If you’d like a discussion guide to one of my books, you can email me or go to the Resources section.
    2. If you’d like to get the free “Moment of Happiness” email newsletter, with a great quote about happiness or human nature, sign up here or email me.

    As I mentioned above, I do weekly live videos on my Facebook Page to continue the conversation from the podcast — usually on Tuesdays at 3:00 pm ET. To join the conversation, check the schedule.

    As always, thanks to our terrific sponsors

    Check out Stamps.com. Want to avoid trips to the post office, and buy and print official U.S. postage for any letter or package, right from your own computer and printer? Visit Stamps.com to sign up for a 4-week trial,  including postage and a digital scale — just enter the promo code HAPPIER.

    Check out Lyft  — join the ride-sharing company that believes in treating its people better. Go to Lyft.com/happier to get a $500 new-driver bonus. Limited time only.

    Also check out ThirdLove, the lingerie brand that uses real women’s measurements to design better-fitting bras. Try one of their bestselling bras for free, for 30 days, by visiting ThirdLove.com/happier.

     

    We love hearing from listeners:

     

    To sign up for my free monthly newsletter, text me at 66866 and enter the word (surprise) “happier.“ Or click here.

    If you enjoyed the podcast, please tell your friends and give us a rating or review. Click here to tell your friends on Twitter.

    Listeners really respect the views of other listeners, so your response helps people find good material. (Not sure how to review? Instructions here; scroll to the bottom.)

    How to Subscribe

    If you’re like me (until recently) you’re intrigued by podcasts, but you don’t know how to listen or subscribe. It’s very easy, really. Really.  To listen to more than one episode, and to have it all in a handier way, on your phone or tablet, it’s better to subscribe. Really, it’s easy.

    Want to know what to expect from other episodes of the podcast, when you listen to the award-winning Happier with Gretchen Rubin?” We talk about how to build happier habits into everyday life, as we draw from cutting-edge science, ancient wisdom, lessons from pop culture—and our own experiences (and mistakes).  We’re sisters, so we don’t let each other get away with much!

    Want a new podcast to listen to, with the same vibe as Happier? The Onward Project is the family of podcasts that I’ve launched, for podcasts that are about “your life–made better.” Check out these great shows: Side Hustle School and Happier in Hollywood.

    HAPPIER listening!

    The post Podcast 133: Create a Spot of Transition, Accountability for Introverts–and Is There a Correct Way to Load a Dishwasher appeared first on Gretchen Rubin.

     
  • gretchenrubin 18:01:09 on 2017/07/12 Permalink
    Tags: Clutter-busting, , , ,   

    Podcast 125: Plan a Virtual Move, a Deep-Dive for College-Bound Students, and an Easy Cure for Splinters. 

    Update: A listener planned not just a Power Hour, not just a Power Day, but an entire Power Week.

    Try This at Home: Plan a virtual move.

    Happiness Hack: To get rid of a splinter, coat the skin with glue, then peel it off. I’ve also heard that duct tape works, too.

    Deep Dive — Advice About a College-Bound Child: In episode 122, I asked listeners for advice as I help Eliza go off to college in the fall. Listeners gave so many great suggestions — covering everything from what to pack, to how often to call, to how to build new family traditions.

    Here are the posts I mention from the Eyeliner Wings and Pretty Things blog:

     

    Gretchen’s Demerit: On Happier in Hollywood, Elizabeth and Sarah talked about how we all need a good professional photograph of ourselves. And although I know perfectly well that I need additional photographs for my redesigned website, I haven’t done anything about it.

    Elizabeth’s Gold Star: Elizabeth gives herself a gold star for driving to Legoland and back. (As I write about in Happier at Home, Elizabeth and I share a real dislike of driving.)

    Three Resources:

    1. If you love great quotes, sign up for the free “Moment of Happiness” newsletter, and every day I’ll send you a great quotation about happiness or human nature.
    2. If you want my one-pager on the Paradoxes of Happiness (I do love a great paradox), request it here.
    3. If you want to pre-order my book The Four Tendencies (and it’s a big help to me, if you do), go here.

    If you want easy instructions about how to rate or review the podcast, look here. Remember, it really helps us if you do rate or review the podcast — it helps other listeners discover us.

    I do weekly live videos on my Facebook Page to continue the conversation from the podcast — usually on Tuesdays at 3:00 pm ET. To join the conversation, check the schedule.

    As always, thanks to our terrific sponsors

    Check out Stamps.com. Want to avoid trips to the post office, and buy and print official U.S. postage for any letter or package, right from your own computer and printer? Visit Stamps.com to sign up for a 4-week trial,  including postage and a digital scale — just enter the promo code HAPPIER.

    Also check out StitchFix, an online personal styling service with real stylists who handpick clothing for you — your taste, your schedule, your lifestyle, your budget. Sign up at StitchFix.com.

    Also check out ThirdLove, the lingerie brand that uses real women’s measurements to design better-fitting bras. Try one of their bestselling bras for free, for 30 days, by visiting ThirdLove.com/happier.

    We love hearing from listeners:

     

    To sign up for my free monthly newsletter, text me at 66866 and enter the word (surprise) “happier.“ Or click here.

    If you enjoyed the podcast, please tell your friends and give us a rating or review. Click here to tell your friends on Twitter.

    Listeners really respect the views of other listeners, so your response helps people find good material. (Not sure how to review? Instructions here; scroll to the bottom.)

    How to Subscribe

    If you’re like me (until recently) you’re intrigued by podcasts, but you don’t know how to listen or subscribe. It’s very easy, really. Really.  To listen to more than one episode, and to have it all in a handier way, on your phone or tablet, it’s better to subscribe. Really, it’s easy.

    Want to know what to expect from other episodes of the podcast, when you listen to the award-winning Happier with Gretchen Rubin?” We talk about how to build happier habits into everyday life, as we draw from cutting-edge science, ancient wisdom, lessons from pop culture—and our own experiences (and mistakes).  We’re sisters, so we don’t let each other get away with much!

    Want a new podcast to listen to, with the same vibe as Happier? The Onward Project is the family of podcasts that I’ve launched, for podcasts that are about “your life–made better.” Check out these great shows: Side Hustle School and Radical Candor and Happier in Hollywood.

    HAPPIER listening!

    The post Podcast 125: Plan a Virtual Move, a Deep-Dive for College-Bound Students, and an Easy Cure for Splinters. appeared first on Gretchen Rubin.

     
  • gretchenrubin 15:50:15 on 2017/04/20 Permalink
    Tags: , , Clutter-busting, , , , , , , , , ,   

    Observations from Marie Kondo about the Life-Changing Magic of Creating Good Habits. 

    Marie Kondo

    Interview: Marie Kondo.

    It’s hard to exaggerate the influence that Marie Kondo has wrought with her blockbuster books The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and Spark Joy. The latter book takes its name, of course, from the question she urges us to ask ourselves, “Does this possession spark joy?”

    Her ideas about how to create order and fight clutter have helped countless people to give themselves more energy and peace. (You might ask, “How does something paradoxically give you more energy and give you more peace?” and I would say, “That is exactly the effect of clutter-clearing.“)

    The New York Times called her “perhaps the world’s only decluttering celebrity.” Absolutely!

    Even I don’t agree with everything that Marie Kondo prescribes (as I write about here), I’m a huge fan of her work. It’s practical, thought-provoking, and often surprising. For most of us, outer order contributes to inner calm, and her “KonMari method” resonates with many, many people.

    One thing I love is that alongside detailed instructions for how to fold a t-shirt, Marie Kondo makes observations like this: “Tidying is the act of confronting yourself; cleaning is the act of confronting nature.” Profound.

    In my books The Happiness Project and Happier at Home (can’t resist mentioning–both bestsellers), I write a lot about the role of possessions in building a happy life. It’s a fascinating area.

    I was thrilled to get the chance to ask Marie Kondo questions about happiness and good habits.

    Would you describe yourself as an Upholder, a Questioner, a Rebel, or an Obliger?

    In terms of tidying, I’m definitely an Upholder. I stay tidy because I feel that the effects ground me and allow my home to spark joy for my family and me.  However, I’m not sure if I qualify as an Upholder in other aspects, as I’ll procrastinate submitting written work or sometimes show up late to get-togethers with friends or colleagues!

    Perhaps this makes me a Questioner, as I’ll only do things if, when I ask myself: “Does it spark joy?” and the answer is “yes.” My very profession is centered on encouraging others to ask themselves: “Does it spark joy?” This must qualify me as a Questioner! [Yes, that sounds Questioner to me.]

    Does anything tend to interfere with your ability to keep your healthy habits?

    I usually go to bed early and wake up early with my kids, who are 18 and 5 months old. However, because I travel frequently for work, I’ll sometimes get jet-lagged. This can disrupt my sleep pattern for a couple of days after! When this happens, I get a little anxious that I am getting behind on work or missing out on time spent with my daughters while I try to catch up on rest.

    Simply having children can interfere with healthy habits!  For instance, before bed, I usually like to stretch and release any tension that may have developed over the course of the day. However, if one of my daughters cries or calls out for me, I’ll tend to them and, by the time they’re calmed down, I’m tempted to pass on stretching and head straight to bed.

    Have you ever been hit by a lightning bolt, where you changed a major habit very suddenly, as a consequence of reading a book, a conversation with a friend, a milestone birthday, a health scare, etc.?

    When I was 15, I would continually tidy my room, only to have it become cluttered again shortly after.  This cycle contributed to so much stress that one day, I fainted. This breaking point made me realize that I was approaching tidying the wrong way.  Instead of focusing on discarding things and approaching tidying as the removal of negativity, I realized that I needed to focus on finding and keeping things that spark joy.

    Do you embrace habits or resist them?

    For daily life, I try to keep to routines, but for work, I prefer variety. For example, I get new ideas by traveling and exposing myself to other countries’ cultures. I enjoy giving talks in a variety of locations, because it allows me to interact with different people and learn from their diverse perspectives.

    Has another person ever had a big influence on your habits?

    My grandmother taught me the importance of tidying up even those places you don’t openly see, such as the insides of drawers and bureaus.  She recognized the intrinsic beauty in belongings and took pride in their presentation in her home.  When she dressed and accessorized, she applied the same philosophy to her personal appearance – everything mattered.  I developed my initial respect for my belongings as a result of her influence.

    The post Observations from Marie Kondo about the Life-Changing Magic of Creating Good Habits. appeared first on Gretchen Rubin.

     
  • gretchenrubin 16:10:37 on 2017/04/19 Permalink
    Tags: birthday, , , , Clutter-busting, , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Podcast 113: Reclaim Your Dump Zones, a Hack for Making Tough Decisions, and Is Your Birthday Important to You? 

    Update: There’s an official launch date of May 18 for Elizabeth’s great new podcast with her writing partner and old friend Sarah Fain. Yes, Happier in Hollywood launches in a few weeks. I’m counting down the days!

    The Better app, all about the Four Tendencies, is now free. If you want to learn more about Upholders, Questioners, Obligers, or Rebels, join the discussion on the app. Or if you want to use the framework at work, with your health clients, with your family, with your students, you can find a lot of focused discussions there, too. And you can start or join an Accountability Group. (Don’t know your Tendency? Take the Four Tendencies quiz.)

    Try This at Home: Reclaim your dump zones. I reclaimed the little table I describe — above, you can see it pictured in its naked glory.

    Here’s one of my all-time favorite podcast episode — #10, live from Elizabeth’s messy closet.

    If you’re intrigued by the subject of clutter-busting, you might enjoy my book Happier at Home. For many people, outer order is a very important for happiness at home.

    Happiness Hack: Turn on the subtitles when you’re watching TV.

    Know Yourself Better: Is your birthday important to you — or not?

    Listener Question: Danielle asks, “My family constantly debates whether we should stay in New York City, or move to the suburbs, and it makes me feel constantly unsettled.”

    The book I mention is Daniel Gilbert’s Stumbling on Happiness.

    Demerit: I made the mistake of “treating a gift like a burden,” when I was working over spring break to get The Four Tendencies ready for publication.

    Gold Star: Jack’s nanny Cynthia made lots of special plans to make spring break fun for him.

    New feature: Each week, at the end of the podcast, I list “Two Resources for You.”

    1. To get every new episode of the podcast by email, sign up at happiercast.com/join.
    2. Every Tuesday at 3:00 pm Eastern Time, I do a Facebook Live video about the most recent episode. Join the conversation with your questions, comment, and insights. If you miss the live conversation, you can always see the archived version on my Page.

    If you want easy instructions about how to rate or review the podcast, look here. Remember, it really helps us if you do rate or review the podcast — it helps other listeners discover us.

    As mentioned above, I do weekly live videos on my Facebook Page to continue the conversation from the podcast — usually on Tuesdays at 3:00 pm ET. To join the conversation, check the schedule.

    As always, thanks to our terrific sponsors

    Check out Smith and Noble, the solution for beautiful window treatments. Go to smithandnoble.com/happier for 20% off window treatments and free in-home or on-phone design consultations and free professional measuring.

    Also check out StitchFix, an online personal styling service with real stylists who handpick clothing for you — your taste, your schedule, your lifestyle, your budget. Sign up at StitchFix.com.

    Also check out Stamps.com. Want to avoid trips to the post office, and buy and print official U.S. postage for any letter or package, right from your own computer and printer? Visit Stamps.com to sign up for a 4-week trial,  including postage and a digital scale — just enter the promo code HAPPIER.

    1pix

    We love hearing from listeners:

     

    To sign up for my free monthly newsletter, text me at 66866 and enter the word (surprise) “happier.“ Or click here.

    If you enjoyed the podcast, please tell your friends and give us a rating or review. Click here to tell your friends on Twitter.

    Listeners really respect the views of other listeners, so your response helps people find good material. (Not sure how to review? Instructions here; scroll to the bottom.)

    How to Subscribe

    If you’re like me (until recently) you’re intrigued by podcasts, but you don’t know how to listen or subscribe. It’s very easy, really. Really.  To listen to more than one episode, and to have it all in a handier way, on your phone or tablet, it’s better to subscribe. Really, it’s easy.

    Want to know what to expect from other episodes of the podcast, when you listen to the award-winning Happier with Gretchen Rubin?” We talk about how to build happier habits into everyday life, as we draw from cutting-edge science, ancient wisdom, lessons from pop culture—and our own experiences (and mistakes).  We’re sisters, so we don’t let each other get away with much!

    Want a new podcast to listen to, with the same vibe as Happier? The Onward Project is the family of podcasts that I’ve launched, for podcasts that are about “your life–made better.” The first shows are Side Hustle School and Radical Candor. Elizabeth’s show with her writing partner, Sarah Fain, will be Happier in Hollywood, so stay tuned for that.

    HAPPIER listening!

    The post Podcast 113: Reclaim Your Dump Zones, a Hack for Making Tough Decisions, and Is Your Birthday Important to You? appeared first on Gretchen Rubin.

     
  • gretchenrubin 14:48:42 on 2017/04/17 Permalink
    Tags: , Clutter-busting, , , , papers, paperwork, , , ,   

    A Little Happier: One of the Worst Ways to Waste Time Is to ____. 

    One of my favorite things to do is to help my sister Elizabeth clear clutter. (If you want to listen to my all-time favorite episode, Very Special Episode 10, recorded from inside Elizabeth’s clutter-filled closet, listen here.)

    Our efforts included a good example of an important Secret of Adulthood: One of the worst ways to waste time is to do well something that we need not do at all.

    I wonder: Is this a special problem for Upholders? It’s probably not much of a problem for Questioners.

    Have you ever caught yourself pouring a lot of time and energy into something that, really, you didn’t need to bother to do at all?

    Check out Smith and Noble, the solution for beautiful window treatments. Go to smithandnoble.com/happier for 20% off window treatments and free in-home or on-phone design consultations and free professional measuring.

    Want to get in touch? I love hearing from listeners:

     

     Happier listening!

    The post A Little Happier: One of the Worst Ways to Waste Time Is to ____. appeared first on Gretchen Rubin.

     
  • gretchenrubin 14:00:59 on 2017/04/09 Permalink
    Tags: Clutter-busting, , , , , spring,   

    Like Me, Do You Get the Urge to Do Spring Cleaning? Here Are Some Areas I Plan to Tackle. 

    One of my great realizations about happiness (and a point oddly under-emphasized by positive psychologists) is that for most people, outer order contributes to inner calm. More, really, than it should. After all, in the context of a happy life, a crowded coat closet is trivial. And yet over and over, people tell me, and I certainly find this, myself, that creating order gives a huge boost in energy, cheer, and creativity.

    So I’m a big believer in the value of clutter-clearing.

    Also, I’m a big believer in using outer milestones as a catalyst for action or change. Whether that’s New Year’s day, September (the other new year), my birthday, or a holiday, I think it’s helpful to be reminded that I might want to make changes in my life. (Yes, Questioners, I know you think that January 1 is an arbitrary date. Noted.)

    So spring, for me, is a reminder to think about spring clutter-clearing. I’m not inspired to do deep cleaning like window-washing, carpet-cleaning, or anything like that. Spring reminds me to tackle nagging clutter build-ups.

    I look for places where I tend to stick things and forget about them. Do you have this problem? For me, I’m looking at these areas:

    My Spring Cleaning areas to tackle:

    Closet shelves

    Are any items jammed in? Can I see the clothes that are stored there, at a glance? Are piles teetering precariously? Can I easily reach the things I want? Is there plenty of room to put things away? I need to tackle the shelf in our main coat closet.

    Dump zones

    Where do I tend to “collect and neglect?” It’s time to dig out those piles and make decisions about where things should have a permanent home. Or if they don’t deserve a permanent home, where will they go? Speaking of which…

    Thrift-store pile

    I need to make a few trips to the thrift store to drop off the books, clothes, and other things we’ve collected to give away. They’re still clutter until they’re out of the apartment.

    Bedside drawer

    I recently thought I’d lost my passport, and  I was in an utter panic until I realized what had happened. We keep our passports in the drawer of my husband’s bedside table (not sure why, but that’s what we do), and his drawer was so jammed with stuff that my passport had been pushed out the back of the drawer into the space behind it. Fortunately I realized pretty quickly what had happened, and was able to wiggle it out. Time to clear out that drawer — and my bedside table drawer is just as bad.

    File holders

    I have two file holders in my office. In theory, I use them for active files that I need to be able to get my hands on quickly. In practice, I often put materials there when I’m not sure what else to do with them, and then they languish. So I’m going to see what I’ve got there, and figure out a permanent place for those files. If they’re so important that they have to be at my fingertips, why don’t I ever look at them?

    If you’re interested in reading more about spring cleaning and clutter clearing, check out…

     

    The great thing about clutter-clearing — and the thing that surprises me every time — is how energizing and satisfying it is, once completed. A month ago, I tackled my giant messy pile of past-their-prime white t-shirts, and I still get a thrill of pleasure when I see my short, neat stack of acceptable t-shirts.

    Creating outer order can give a huge boost in energy, cheer, and creativity.

    Click to tweet

    What areas are you planning to tackle for spring cleaning? Any hints about effective strategies for solving — or better, avoiding — clutter?

    The post Like Me, Do You Get the Urge to Do Spring Cleaning? Here Are Some Areas I Plan to Tackle. appeared first on Gretchen Rubin.

     
  • gretchenrubin 17:15:59 on 2017/04/05 Permalink
    Tags: , Clutter-busting, , , , , , , storage   

    Podcast 111: Beware of Storing Stuff, Another Look at the Stumbling Block of Emails, and the Challenge of Little Slips of Paper. 

    It’s time for the next installment of Happier with Gretchen Rubin.

    Update: Let me know if you’re experiencing a cut-off during an episode. Thanks for any help in diagnosing this problem.

    As Elizabeth mentioned, my new coloring book has hit the shelves — fun! The Happiness Project Mini-Posters: A Coloring Book with 20 Hand-lettered Quotes to Pull Out and Frame. It hit #1 in Amazon’s “Adult Coloring Book” category (a surprisingly huge category). Above you can see a sample page that my younger daughter colored for me.

    Try This at Home: Beware of storing things. Unless you’re storing things like holiday decorations or seasonal gear, “storage” often means “shoving it into a dark corner and forgetting about it for years.” Which can be draining and even expensive.

    Happiness Hack: Our listener Amanda suggests, “Flip a coin to make a decision.” As Amanda points out, this is a strategy that can work for Questioners who are stuck in analysis-paralysis. Not sure if you’re a Questioner? Here’s the quiz to find out if you’re an Upholder, Questioner, Obliger, or Rebel.

    Happiness Stumbling Block 2.0. More on emails! Things to do, and things not to do.

    Here’s the Harvard Business Review article I mention: Kabir Sehgal’s “How to write email with military precision.” Many helpful points.

    Demerit: I’m surrounded by little slips of papers reminding me to do a bunch of things I don’t want to do.

    Gold Star: Elizabeth found a “missing puzzle piece” — the shoe repair store! So simple, so helpful.

    New feature: I’m starting a new feature; each week, at the end of the podcast, I’ll list “Two Resources for You.”

    1. Want a list of great books in children’s and young-adult literature? Here are my 81 favorites.
    2. Want a personalized, signed bookplate? Email me to request as many as you like (within reason). Be sure to include your mailing address, and U.S. and Canada only–sorry, mailing costs.

    If you want easy instructions about how to rate or review the podcast, look here. Remember, it really helps us if you do rate or review the podcast — it helps other listeners discover us.

    I do weekly live videos on my Facebook Page to continue the conversation from the podcast — usually on Tuesdays at 3:00 pm ET. To join the conversation, check the schedule.

    As always, thanks to our terrific sponsors

    Check out Smith and Noble, the solution for beautiful window treatments. Go to smithandnoble.com/happier for 20% off window treatments and free in-home or on-phone design consultations and free professional measuring.

    Also check out Lyft  — join the ride-sharing company that believes in treating its people better. Go to Lyft.com/happier to get a $500 new-driver bonus. Limited time only.

    Also check out ThirdLove, the lingerie brand that uses real women’s measurements to design better-fitting bras. Try one of their bestselling bras for free, for 30 days, by visiting ThirdLove.com/happier.

    We love hearing from listeners:

     

    To sign up for my free monthly newsletter, text me at 66866 and enter the word (surprise) “happier.“ Or click here.

    If you enjoyed the podcast, please tell your friends and give us a rating or review. Click here to tell your friends on Twitter.

    Listeners really respect the views of other listeners, so your response helps people find good material. (Not sure how to review? Instructions here; scroll to the bottom.)

    How to Subscribe

    If you’re like me (until recently) you’re intrigued by podcasts, but you don’t know how to listen or subscribe. It’s very easy, really. Really.  To listen to more than one episode, and to have it all in a handier way, on your phone or tablet, it’s better to subscribe. Really, it’s easy.

    Want to know what to expect from other episodes of the podcast, when you listen to the award-winning Happier with Gretchen Rubin?” We talk about how to build happier habits into everyday life, as we draw from cutting-edge science, ancient wisdom, lessons from pop culture—and our own experiences (and mistakes).  We’re sisters, so we don’t let each other get away with much!

    Want a new podcast to listen to, with the same vibe as Happier? The Onward Project is the family of podcasts that I’ve launched, for podcasts that are about “your life–made better.” The first shows are Side Hustle School and Radical Candor. Elizabeth’s show with her writing partner, Sarah Fain, will be Happier in Hollywood, so stay tuned for that.

    HAPPIER listening!

    The post Podcast 111: Beware of Storing Stuff, Another Look at the Stumbling Block of Emails, and the Challenge of Little Slips of Paper. appeared first on Gretchen Rubin.

     
  • feedwordpress 15:44:51 on 2016/10/10 Permalink
    Tags: , , Clutter-busting, junk, , , , , possibility, ,   

    A Little Happier: Someplace, Keep an Empty Shelf; Someplace, Keep a Junk Drawer. 

    IMG_8278

    One of the things about happiness that continually surprises me is the degree to which, for most people, outer order contributes to inner calm, and inner self-command. I write about this connection in Better Than Before, in The Happiness Project, and in Happier at Home.

    This connection fascinates me; in the context of a happy life, a crowded coat closet or an overflowing in-box is trivial, and yet such things weigh us down more than they should.

    That’s why I follow habits like making my bed and the one-minute rule, and why one of the most important strategies of habit formation is the Strategy of Foundation.

    But as a friend reminded me,  it’s also important to have time for serendipity, for the unexpected — to make room for a little messiness in our lives.

    Someplace, we need an empty shelf. And someplace, we need a junk drawer.

    Agree, disagree? Do you have an empty shelf, a junk drawer — or both?

    If you want to see the video where I show my empty shelf, just email me, and I’ll send you the link. The image posted above is another empty shelf I maintain. I do like an empty shelf!

    Check out Yogi Tea. When it comes to enjoying life, little moments — like drinking a delicious cup of tea — can make a big difference.

    Want to get the “Moment of Happiness,” the free email newsletter I send out each day, with a terrific quote about happiness or human nature? Sign up here.

    Want to get in touch? I love hearing from listeners:

     

    Happier listening!

    The post A Little Happier: Someplace, Keep an Empty Shelf; Someplace, Keep a Junk Drawer. appeared first on Gretchen Rubin.

     
  • feedwordpress 15:54:37 on 2016/09/14 Permalink
    Tags: , Clutter-busting, , , , , , , , , , , Strategy of Identity,   

    Podcast 82: Make a To-Do List (or a Could-Do List), Why Your Identity Matters for Your Habits–and Gift Bags. 

    to-do-list2

    It’s time for the next installment of  “Happier with Gretchen Rubin.

    Update: If you live near Seattle, please come to our live event! We’ll be recording an episode of the podcast live on stage at Seattle’s Town Hall on October 13, 7:30. Tickets are $25. More info and buy tickets here. Please come, bring your friends.

    In episode 76, we talked about manifestos, and if you’re coming to the Seattle event, we’d love to highlight a few manifestos from listeners. So send us your manifesto for work, life, parenting, marriage, exercise, clutter-clearing — whatever! And maybe we’ll talk about it with you on stage.

    Try This at Home: Make a to-do list, or a could-do list.  We talked about the Four Tendencies — whether you’re an Upholder, Questioner, Obliger, or Rebel — and you want to take the Four Tendencies Quiz, it’s here.

    Happiness Hack: Our listener Carolyn suggests that if you constantly run out of a certain item, just buy it whenever you have the chance. I mention the over-buyer and under-buyer distinction; you can read about it here.

    Better Than Before Habit Strategy: The powerful, sometimes elusive Strategy of Identity.  I quote from Letters of James Agee to Father Flye, where novelist James Agee wrote, after he’d been told that he really needed to cut back on his drinking and smoking:

    I am depressed because whether I am to live a very short time or relatively longer time depends…on whether or not I can learn to be the kind of person I am not and have always detested.

    Listener Question: Kelly asks, “How do I handle my trove of gift bags?”

    Gretchen’s Demerit: I didn’t check my print job until many, many pages had been printed.

    1pixElizabethBreakfastNook

    Elizabeth’s Gold Star: Elizabeth gives a gold star to her long-desired breakfast nook.

    If you want easy instructions about how to rate or review the podcast, look here.

    Remember,  I’m doing weekly live videos on my Facebook Page about the podcast. To join the conversation, check the schedule. 

    As always, thanks to our terrific sponsors

    Check out Olive and Cocoa. Surprise someone you love with a meaningful gift today. Go to OliveandCocoa.com/happier to see gift options specifically chosen for our listeners.

    Also check out Stamps.com. Want to avoid trips to the post office, and buy and print official U.S. postage for any letter or package, right from your own computer and printer? Visit Stamps.com to sign up for a 4-week trial, plus a $110 bonus offer — just enter the promo code HAPPIER.

    Sign up for The Great Courses Plus today and you’ll get a month of unlimited access to thousands of fascinating lectures taught by top professors and experts in their fields. Special offer for our listeners: try it for free when you sign up at www.thegreatcoursesplus.com/happier.

     

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    We love hearing from listeners:

     

    To sign up for my free monthly newsletter, text me at 66866 and enter the word (surprise) “happier.“ Or click here.

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    Listeners really respect the views of other listeners, so your response helps people find good material. (Not sure how to review? Instructions here; scroll to the bottom.)

    How to Subscribe

    If you’re like me (until recently) you’re intrigued by podcasts, but you don’t know how to listen or subscribe. It’s very easy, really. Really.  To listen to more than one episode, and to have it all in a handier way, on your phone or tablet, it’s better to subscribe. Really, it’s easy.

    Want to know what to expect from other episodes of the podcast, when you listen toHappier with Gretchen Rubin?” We talk about how to build happier habits into everyday life, as we draw from cutting-edge science, ancient wisdom, lessons from pop culture—and our own experiences (and mistakes).  We’re sisters, so we don’t let each other get away with much.

    HAPPIER listening!

    The post Podcast 82: Make a To-Do List (or a Could-Do List), Why Your Identity Matters for Your Habits–and Gift Bags. appeared first on Gretchen Rubin.

     
  • feedwordpress 18:10:29 on 2016/09/13 Permalink
    Tags: , Clutter-busting, , office-mates, , ,   

    7 Tips for Clearing Clutter in the Office. 

    Clearing Office Clutter

    One of my Secrets of Adulthood is: Outer order contributes to inner calm.  And that’s just as true at the office as it is at home.

    True, in the context of a happy life, a messy desk or a box of files on the floor is a trivial problem—yet I’ve found, and other people tell me they feel the same way, that getting control of the stuff of life makes me feel more in control of my life generally. And if this is an illusion, it’s a helpful illusion.                               

    When I’m surrounded by a mess, I felt restless and unsettled; when I clean up a mess, I’m always surprised by the disproportionate energy and cheer I gain—plus, I’m able to find my stapler.

    Here are some ways to fight clutter at the office:

     1. Never label anything “Miscellaneous.”

     

    2. Abandon a project.

    One source of office clutter is stuff related to unfinished projects. You’ve always meant to learn that software program. You were going to switch to using a different kind of planner.  You were going to review that proposal. But that stuff has been sitting in your office for months, maybe years, and it hasn’t been used. Be honest with yourself. If you’re not going to complete that project, abandon it — and get the stuff off your shelves, and off your conscience.

    3. Beware of freebies, swag, and give-aways.

    Yes, you went to that conference, and they gave you a branded mug, t-shirt, metal water-bottle, journal, pen, and an eraser in the shape of a cow. But if you don’t have a clear plan to use these things, they’re clutter — and the best way to deal with that clutter? Don’t accept those freebies in the first place.

    4. Don’t get organized.

    When you’re facing a desk swamped in papers,  don’t say to yourself, “I need to get organized.” No! Your first instinct should be to get rid of stuff. If you don’t keep it, you don’t have to organize it. You can spend a lot of time filing papers that you don’t even need to keep—and one of the biggest wastes of time is to do a chore well that need not be done at all. (See also #7.)

    5. Establish ownership. This is a particular problem at the office.

    Often, clutter sticks around because it’s not clear who owns it– those aren’t your files, and no one seems to know why they’ve been in the hallway for two years, but how can you throw them away? If you encounter something that you think is clutter, take the time to ask around and find out if anyone wants it. It’s surprising how often things go unclaimed. Relatedly…

    6. Beware the tragedy of the messy commons.

    When several people use one area, and no one person is responsible for keeping order, people tend to become messy and careless. Establish some system—for instance, by taking turns, assigning people to oversee specific areas, or enforcing the expectation that people mind their own messes—for making it clear who’s responsible for any disorder. This is related to the painful truths about shared work.

    7. Toss unnecessary papers.

    Paperwork is one of the toughest forms of clutter to vanquish.  Ask yourself: Have I ever used this paper? Could I easily replace it, if it turns out I need it? Is this information on the internet (e.g., manuals)? What’s my reason for keeping it? Does it become dated quickly (travel materials)? What’s the consequence of not having it if I do need it? Could I scan it, so I can keep it as a reference but get rid of the physical paper?

    NOTE: Outer order contributes to inner calm — for most people. But not for everyone.

    Some people thrive on disarray; they find it stimulates their ideas and doesn’t slow them down. It’s probably related to being an abundance-lover instead of a simplicity-lover.

    Some people are just clutter-blind. They simply don’t see the clutter. It doesn’t affect them for better or worse. They just don’t see it.

    Different levels of clutter-acceptance can lead to conflict, because the people who love order tend to try to badger the disorder-tolerant people into cleaning up. I always remind myself, “There’s no right way or wrong way, just the way that works for a particular person.”

    As part of my “Design my summer” project ( you can hear me talk about it on the Happier podcast), I wrote a little book called “Outer Order, Inner Calm.” I’m just finishing it up now. It was so fun to write that book! So if you have any great tips about clearing clutter — at the office or at home — I’d love to hear them, to see if there’s anything I’ve overlooked.

    What are your great clutter-clearing tips?

    The post 7 Tips for Clearing Clutter in the Office. appeared first on Gretchen Rubin.

     
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