Podcast 342: Join the Work Happier Challenge, Use a Rubber Duck to Tackle a Tough Problem, and How to Fight Against Falling into Zombie Mode


People can watch Fantasy Island Tuesday nights on Fox at 9 pm ET, or on Hulu or Fox Now.

A few more solutions to the problem of the talkative co-worker described in episode 339:

  • put books in a chair to keep the person standing
  • use the interruption to take a water break, which then ends the conversation naturally

We discuss several other solutions in episode 341.

Try This at Home

Do the “Work Happier Challenge.”

I often hear from people who want to be happier, healthier, more productive, and more creative at work. As summer ends and work routines shift, we have the opportunity to consider how the way we work aligns with our own natures, interests, and experiences. 

I created a free 7-Day SMS Challenge where I prompt you with a series of distinctions to help you better understand the way you like to work, and, if you can, build a work life that’s a little happier.

Text the word “WORKHAPPIER” to +1 (844) 934-1913 to join. You’ll receive a follow-up message to confirm—your confirmation will kick off your 7-day challenge. 

Happiness Hack

Use “rubber duck debugging” to solve a problem—that is, explain your problem to a rubber duck!

Happiness Stumbling Block

We often suffer the “First Night Effect“—when sleeping in an unfamiliar setting for the first time, it’s likely to take longer to drop off, and the sleep we finally do get might be broken and unsatisfying. 

Four Tendencies Tip

One Obliger found outer accountability for taking care of her health by signing up for the “Be the Match” registry.

Want to take the quiz to find out if you’re an Obliger, Questioner, Upholder, or Rebel? Take the free, quick quiz (more than 3.2 million people have taken it). Or for more information and resources about the Four Tendencies, visit my new Four Tendencies hub.

Gold Stars & Demerits

Elizabeth’s Demerit: Now that her workload has lightened, Elizabeth has some down time, but she’s not using it in restorative ways. She stuck in zombie mode.

Gretchen’s Gold Star: Gold star to all the teachers starting this uncertain new school year.


  • Head over to the-happiness-project.com/collections to find new apparel, drinkware, stickers, and more.
  • Because “September is the other January,” it’s good to think about changes to make with this clean slate. Download a free (and newly designed!) Resolutions Chart here.

What we’re reading

  • Elizabeth: Vanderbilt: The Rise and Fall of an American Dynasty by Anderson Cooper and Katherine Howe (AmazonBookshop)
  • Gretchen: Blind Man’s Bluff by James Tate Hill (AmazonBookshop)




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