Podcast 60: Very Special Episode! Live from the TV Sound Stage Where Elizabeth Is Working.

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

Episode 60 — that means it’s a Very Special Episode! Our producer Henry and I traveled to the famed Silvercup Studios in Queens, New York, to visit Elizabeth on the sound stage of the show she’s working on. Super-glamorous, I must say. In the photo, in the directors’ chairs in “Video Village,” you can see Elizabeth (near chair), Helen Childress (middle), Sarah Fain (far chair), and Henry (half-hidden in the back row).

Try This at Home: Let people do their job. This relates to the problem of shared work, which we discussed in episode 28.

craftservicesSilvercupInterlude: a trip to craft services. So many tempting treats, all for free, and right at hand! Elizabeth calls it “the bane of her  existence.”

Interview: Helen Childress. Helen is the creator of the terrific-yet-still-unnamed TV show that Elizabeth is working on. She also wrote the iconic 90’s movie Reality Bites. In her interview, she gives many great insights on the nature of writing, creativity, and habits.

 Gretchen’s Demerit: I’ve acquired a Pile o’Papers related to tasks that I need to do — and it just keeps growing. I’ll use Elizabeth’s suggestion of using Power Hour.

ElizabethSarahHenryRecordingSarah Fain’s Gold Star
: We’ve talked about Elizabeth’s writing partner Sarah Fain so many times — it was great to have her on the show. She gives a gold star to her three-year-old daughter Violet, for being such a good sport for moving to New York City for several weeks.

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1pixHappier Podcast with Gretchen Rubin #60

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  • Laura Jolna

    Hi Gretchen & Elizabeth!
    Regarding Gretchen’s “Happiness Demerit” of the pile of paper clutter on her desk, I too struggled with this issue for a long time and it created a great deal of unhappiness for me as I am a super clutterphobe.
    Finally, I came up with a solution that has resolved it for me completely … I bought colorful printed file folders and created a folder for each day of the week and sorted my “paper tasks” into each folder. I try not to have more than 3 in each folder because I know it’s unrealistic I’ll get to more than 2 or 3 in a day.
    I then created a new habit of pulling out the folder for that day in the morning and putting it on my desk so I can address the contents at some point during my day. At the end of the day, if I haven’t addressed something in the folder, I move it to the next day or another appropriate day that I feel I’ll get to it. This new habit & system has turned into a “Happiness Gold Star” for me as it created a strategy to get to everything 🙂
    I even started putting some fun things that I wanted to read, etc in the folders so opening the folder each morning also gives me something to look forward to 🙂
    Thanks for the great podcast … I’m a huge fan and never miss an episode!

  • LoriM

    Has Elizabeth ever talked about what it means to have a writing partner? I’m intrigued. Do you take turns writing episodes and check each others’ work? Or each take a different character? One does plot and one does dialog? Work together on everything? or maybe some of all of that? How do you decide? How do you handle disagreements? How did you meet your writing partner? What are the pros and cons of working with a writing partner?

    • gretchenrubin

      Great questions!

  • Jessica

    I appreciate your comments about giving people space do their job – applicable in so many different facets of life. At home, getting/letting people (children) to do their jobs can be a significant challenge at times, generally because the kids want to do things on their timeline, and not mine. They aren such lollygaggers! One thing that has worked at our house, when i notice that they haven’t done their job or what was asked of them, I ask them when they are planning to do the requested task. Almost every time my kids will answer my question (which can be remarkable) and then they go on to do the task when they said they were going to. This is great because: 1) I know that they know the job to be done 2) It communicates to me, the asker, what to expect about them getting the job done 3) It gives them control over an aspect of the task 4) Gives me an opportunity to give feedback constructively, instead of nagging, so they can adjust. ex. you will need to do your job sooner because will be eating dinner at 6 pm. 5) Builds trust. Most frequently the result is that kIds do their job themselves and Mama isn’t nagging or frustrated.