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A Happiness Expert Says a 2-Person ‘Power Day’ Is the Trick to Making Errands Less Boring

Advice from Gretchen Rubin.

Since entering the working world six years ago, I’ve been wrestling with one particular existential quandary: When do people do stuff? Not work, not socializing, but stuff — like picking out stationery and getting your shoes re-heeled and returning a stack of library books.

The problem I keep running into is that I’m at the office during the day, and by the time I get home, I’m exhausted and most of the places I need to visit are closed.

Then the weekend rolls around and I can’t stomach the idea of spending all of it running between the shoe-repair shop and the stationery store, instead of seeing friends and family.

Enter the two-person “power day.” It’s a combination of two tips I heard on “Happier with Gretchen Rubin,” a podcast hosted by Rubin, who is the bestselling author of “The Happiness Project,” and her sister, Elizabeth Craft, who is a television writer.

Here’s how it works: You and a friend (or family member) designate a single day when you’ll both do all the errands on your list — together.

In a 2016 episode of the podcast, Rubin and Craft talked about arranging “errand dates.” You bring a friend to do an otherwise boring errand, and pair it with something fun, like visiting a new coffee shop in the neighborhood.

In a more recent episode, Rubin and Craft talked about “power days,” where you do absolutely every errand on your list in a single day — doctor’s appointments, visiting the car repair shop, whatever. They recommended bringing a friend along to make the whole experience more enjoyable.

The two-person power day is like an extreme version of the errand date — and here’s why I love it: Everyone has boring stuff on their to-do list. Everyone wants to hang out with friends instead. This strategy allows both people to feel productive and happy at the same time. Ridiculously simple? Yes. Underutilized? Definitely.

Plus, it’s a nice alternative to eating and drinking, which can sometimes seem like the only options for things to do when you meet up with a friend.

Originally published at

More From Business Insider:

Being happier on a daily basis could be as simple as trying a new lunch spot

A happiness expert shares her daily routine for success

A psychologist reveals a trick to stop being lazy

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