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Podcast 316: What Valuable Lessons Have We Learned from the Pandemic, a Hack to Fight Morning Grogginess, and a Question About a Rebel Teacher Who Doesn’t Read Emails.


A few announcements:

  • To understand our listeners better, we're doing a survey. If you don't mind answering a few questions, we'd love to hear from you. As a thank-you for completing the survey, we’ll enter you into a drawing: we’ll randomly select 25 people to receive a signed copy of one of my books, and 5 people will receive a $100 gift card. Take the survey here.
  • Spring cleaning season is approaching, and we'd love to feature some terrific before-and-after stories about clutter-clearing. Comment on this post, email us here, or post on social media using the hashtags #OuterOrderInnerCalm and #beforeandafter.

Try This at Home: Now that we're at the anniversary point for the pandemic period, ask yourself, “What valuable lesson have I learned from this time?”

The world has experienced so much hardship, loss, and suffering in the pandemic period—but there have also been valuable lessons. It's helpful to reflect back on what we've learned, and what we can take forward into the future.

Happiness Hack: Research shows that to help fight morning grogginess, it's more effective to set your alarm to melodic music rather than a blaring alarm.

Know Yourself Better: What’s something you bought as a panic purchase when the pandemic period started?

I bought a stick vacuum and many cans of tuna fish. Elizabeth bought many cans of soup. And we both bought lots of toilet paper.

I mention the distinction between over-buyers and under-buyers.

Listener Question: A listener asks for suggestions for persuading a Rebel co-worker to read the work emails that are very necessary for their jobs as teachers.

We suggest pointing to his identity, which is a very high value for Rebels. "I'm a caring, well-prepared teacher who wants to help set my students up for success." "I'm reliable, and my students and co-workers can count on me." "I'm not the kind of person who expects special treatment or who thinks his time is more valuable than other people's time."

What are your suggestions? We'd love to offer more ideas.

If you don't know about the Four Tendencies framework, you can take the free, quick quiz here to find out if you're an Upholder, Questioner, Obliger, or Rebel. You can read a quick overview of the framework here.

Elizabeth's Demerit: As part of the preparation for Fantasy Island, the TV show that she's show-running, Elizabeth went to Puerto Rico for location scouting—but while there, she didn't even put her toes in the ocean.

Gretchen's Gold Star: To stop my phone from ringing at inconvenient times, Jamie told me that if I didn't want to unplug the cord from the wall, I could just unplug the cord from the set on my desk.


  • If you're so inclined, please take the listener survey. It's a big help to us.
  • Send in those stories of clutter-clearing triumph! Tag your photos with #OuterOrderInnerCalm and #beforeandafter.

What we’re reading:

Elizabeth: Deacon King Kong by James McBride (AmazonBookshop)
Gretchen: Notes from a Young Black Chef by Kwame Onwuachi (Amazon, Bookshop)

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