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Podcast 178: Schedule a Weekly Playdate with Yourself, a Hack for a Child’s Curfew, and How to Deal with an Open-Plan Office.


Try This at Home: Schedule a weekly playdate with yourself. Something that can be done at any time is often done at no time—so set aside time for the things that you want to do.

Happiness Hack: A friend has a child with a 1 a.m. curfew. She wants to know that her daughter has come home safely, but she doesn’t want to stay up that late, and she also has a lot of trouble falling back asleep if her daughter wakes her up when she returns at 1 a.m. (Her husband sleeps through all this.)

Podcast still life.

She sets her alarm for 1:15 a.m. When her daughter comes home, she tiptoes in, turns off her mother’s alarm, and leaves. So if my friend wakes up at 3 a.m. or when she wakes up in the morning, she knows her daughter is home. But if the alarm goes off, she knows her daughter isn’t home yet.

Four Tendencies Tip: A listener asked how to deal with the fact that her Rebel brother and her Questioner sister-in-law want to control all family plans and refuse to accommodate her family.

Behind the scenes.

If you want to take the free quiz, to find out if you're an Upholder, Questioner, Obliger, or Rebel, you can take it here. Or listen to episode 120, where we talk about the Four Tendencies at length.

Listener Question: A listener asks for suggestions about dealing with the distractions of an open-plan office. This is a huge issue these days—we want to hear your suggestions and hacks!

Elizabeth's Demerit: Elizabeth stays up late to watch her favorite TV shows, even when she knows she'd feel much better if she got more sleep.

Elizabeth mentions her other podcast Happier in Hollywood, which she co-hosts with her writing partner Sarah Fain.

Gretchen's Gold Star: I give a gold star to Elizabeth, Adam, and my friend Julia for sticking with high-intensity weight-training.


  1. Want to sign up for my free monthly newsletter, or for the "Moment of Happiness," my daily email with a happiness quotation? Sign up here.
  2. The audiobook for Happier at Home just went on sale! I love all my books equally, but Elizabeth says this is her favorite book. This is the new audio version, with me doing the reading myself.

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

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