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Podcast 175: Do You Struggle with “Procrasticlearing,” Plan a Nice Little Surprise, and How to Take Notes While Listening to a Podcast.


Try This at Home: Plan a nice little surprise. If you'd like to read more about this suggestion, I write about it in my book Happier at Home.

I mentioned that back in episode 16, we talked about the Try-This-at-Home to "Imitate a spiritual master." My spiritual master is St. Therese of Lisieux, and her haunting memoir is Story of a Soul. St. Therese observes, “It isn’t enough to love; we must prove it.

I also mention the wonderful books of Shaun Tan, especially Tales from Outer Suburbia.

Happiness Hack: In response to our question in episode 173, many listeners sent many suggestions about how (safely) to take notes while listening to a podcast.

I tried these myself, and my favorite is to say, "Hey Siri, in an hour remind me to XYZ." Turns out that for me, that works very well.

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Happiness Stumbling Block: Sometimes, we get the very strong urge to clear clutter—not from the true desire for outer order, but from the desire to delay work on some unpleasant task. That's procrasticlearing!

I write about this phenomenon in my upcoming book, Outer Order, Inner Calm. We've all done it.

Remember, working is one of the most dangerous forms of procrastination!

Gretchen's Demerit: When I'm annoyed at someone, instead of taking action or putting things in perspective, I brood on it with a kind of perverse pleasure. Which isn't constructive.
Elizabeth's Gold Star: She gives Jack a gold star for deciding to be more adventurous during their recent family trip to Hawaii.


  1. Speaking of "nice little surprises," if you'd like a nice little surprise from me in the form of a free page from my coloring book, download it here.
  2. Also, if you want a nice little surprise for a friend, or for yourself, consider our mugs! We have Happier mugs and mugs for each of the Four Tendencies. You can order them here.
  3. Remember, we're gathering "Before & After" stories for the podcast. If you have a great before-and-after story, as a consequence of something we discussed on the podcast, let us know.

I do a weekly live show on Facebook called: “Ask Gretchen Rubin Live.” To join the conversation, check the schedule.

Quote From the Podcast

It isn’t enough to love; we must prove it.
St. Therese of Lisieux

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