Podcast 268: Limit Yourself to One Option, a Self-Care Solution, and Chris Guillebeau Talks about “The Money Tree” and Creating the Work Life We Want


Happy National Sibling Day—it’s coming up on April 10.

Try This at Home

Limit yourself to one option. Visit one store, buy from one brand, or make one stop to do an errand, as a way to limit decision fatigue and save time, money, and energy.

We mention the distinction between satisficers and maximizers; you can read about it here. We also mention my “Four Tendencies” personality framework—such as Questioners and analysis-paralysis. You can learn more here, and take the quiz to learn if you’re an Upholder, Questioner, Obliger, or Rebel here.

In Happier in Hollywood, in episode 127, Elizabeth talks about choosing a signature designer: Veronica Beard.

Of course, some people enjoy the process! In which case this limitation isn’t necessary.

One of my Secrets of Adulthood is: Most decisions don’t require extensive research.

Happiness Hack

An Obliger listener explains how she uses a daily pill dispenser as a way to hold herself accountable for healthy daily habits such as yoga, meditation, and walking the dog.

She selected beads of different colors to represent the “pills” for each activity—purple for yoga, blue for meditation, etc. When she’s finished an activity, she moves a bead from morning to evening slots. It’s a brilliant, elegant, inexpensive solution.

Interview: Chris Guillebeau.

We are huge fans of the brilliant Chris Guillebeau! His fantastic daily podcast Side Hustle School is part of the Onward Project. He was a guest at one of our first live shows; we’ve had him on the podcast several times.

He’s the bestselling author of many books, such as Side Hustle: From Idea to Income in 27 DaysThe $100 StartupBorn for This, and The Art of NonconformityThe Happiness of Pursuitall about how to create the work-life you want, while also giving yourself financial freedom and security.

Now he’s written The Money Tree: A Story about Finding the Fortune in Your Own Back Yard. He uses fiction to make his core insight: we’re never at the mercy of fortune as long as we have an appetite for hard work and a willingness to step outside our comfort zone.

Chris is a Rebel!

Chris’s Try This at Home: Challenge yourself to make $100 by re-selling items that you no longer need or use. Chris argues that making even a small amount of money is very satisfying. He suggests using platforms like eBayEtsyNextdoorOfferupCraig’s ListGumtree.

Elizabeth’s Demerit: Elizabeth bought a big stack of books, even though she already has so many books on her TBR pile.

Gretchen’s Gold Star: I give my husband Jamie a gold star for learning French.


  • We don’t talk about COVID-19 in this episode, but if you’d like to check out the resources I’ve created for coping during this crisis, click here.
  • Download my free Outer Order, Inner Calm Manifesto at gretchenrubin.com/resources. You can print and display this PDF to help you focus as you clear clutter and add beauty to your home or office.




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