Podcast 338: If You’re Under Pressure, Give Yourself Less Time, an Easy Hack for Listening to Podcasts, and an Interview with Ramit Sethi about Money and Couples.


Remember to send in your questions for Elizabeth and me for our upcoming Very Special Episode 340, an “Ask Us Anything” episode. Or post them right here!

Thanks for all the excellent questions for the Fantasy Island bonus episode. It will air on August 13.

Try This at Home

If you’re working under pressure, give yourself less time.

When I’m under pressure, I usually give myself more time, but one of my aphorisms is: The opposite of a profound truth is also true.

I got this idea from the terrific Office Ladies podcast, episode 40, from about 3-5 minutes, when hosts Jenna Fischer (Pam Beesly) and Angela Kinsey (Angela Martin) discuss the fact that The Office’s creator and show-runner Greg Daniels gave writer Justin Spitzer only three days to write the script for the “Back from Vacation” episode, which was his first. Having less time means lower expectations, which can be reassuring. We discuss the distinction between marathoners and sprinters. We also talk about Questioners and how they sometimes struggle with analysis-paralysis.

Happiness Hack

If you’d prefer to see a podcast’s episodes listed from oldest to newest, you can change the order in your settings. Identify the problem!

Interview: Ramit Sethi.

Ramit Sethi is a personal-finance expert and the author of the New York Times bestseller I Will Teach You To Be Rich (AmazonBookshop). Now he has a new podcast, I Will Teach You To Be Rich by Ramit Sethi, which reveals real stories about love and money, with couples, from behind closed doors.

If you love Esther Perel’s Where Should We Begin, check out this podcast.

We discuss many questions:

  • In the phrase “I will teach you to be rich,” what does “rich” mean?
  • What are some of the most surprising things he’s learned when talking to couples about their money?
  • What can we do to reduce money conflicts between sweethearts?
  • How do our families and upbringing influence our attitudes towards money?
  • Do couples tend to become polarized–for instance, between “growth” and “safety” aspects of money?

Some highlights:

  • “’Rich’ can mean different things to different people—and it should.”
  • “If you’re in a relationship, inevitably you’re going to disagree about money.”
  • “None of us knows what other couples are saying behind closed doors.”
  • “People will create a money story for themselves, and they’ll live it, and in 60 seconds I can unpack that.”
  • “The first question you might ask your partner and you is: ‘What’s the first word that comes to mind when we think about money?’”
  • “What do you remember your parent or parents talking about, when it came to money?”
  • “As an Upholder, it doesn’t feel like I’m battling demons to get work done.”

Ramit Sethi’s Tendency: Ramit is an Upholder. If you’d like to watch an interview I did with him, about his experience as an Upholder, watch here.

If you want to take the quick free quiz, to see if you’re an Upholder, Questioner, Obliger, or Rebel, take the quiz here.

Ramit Sethi’s Try This at Home: In the next 48 hours, spend $100—or $10 dollars—on something you love, and that’s just for yourself.

Elizabeth’s Demerit

She and Adam planned to use the time when Jack was at camp to go through his massive stuffed-animal collection. They didn’t do it.

Gretchen’s Gold Star

I give a gold star to Becky Chambers’s science-fiction novels. I’ve read the first two novels in her four-novel “Wayfarer” series, and I love them.


  • Are you trying to make (or break) a habit? Download my “Checklist for Habit Change.” This one-page chart will help you deploy the 21 strategies for habit change as you work on a crucial key habit that you want to master. Maybe it’s a habit that you included in your “21 for “2021” list. Click here to download.
  • August 9th was national Book Lovers Day! If you’re a book lover or someone looking for more book recommendations, you can follow me on Goodreads. Check the hashtag #GretchenRubinReads for my weekly photo of what I read that week, or read my monthly blog post where I share a quick description or response to each book I read that month.

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