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 www.businessinsider.com