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Alan Lightman: Wasting Time is Good for You – Transcript

Read the transcript of Caitlin's interview with novelist, essayist, physicist, and educator, Alan Lightman.
by Natallia Darozhkina | Jun 7 2018

Caitlin Schiller: Have you ever taken a look at your habits, your happiness, your relationships, or your health, and thought, there’s got to be a better way to do this? Then you are in the right place. Welcome to Simplify. I’m Caitlin Schiller.

Emily Phillips: And I’m Emily Phillips.

Caitlin: The one and only! This is so exciting—Emily, you joined for the bonus episode last season when I was sick. Now, Ben’s super busy and you came to the rescue to talk about today’s bonus episode with me. So happy to have you down here in the studio.

Emily: Well I am happy to be here! And, I must say, it’s nice and cool down here in the studio, too. Not true of our sweltering office.

Caitlin: Yeah, it’s gearing up to be a really hot summer. Which, actually, is the perfect time for lots of stuff like… do you ever just…leave your place and go for a walk and space out, let your mind wander? Or do you let yourself get really engrossed in a good TV show?

Emily: Oh, totally. Yeah, I do all these things. Recently been sitting on my balcony and just staring at the flowers.

Caitlin: Okay, some of that’s technically wasting time for Alan Lightman—Physicist, writer for places you’ve definitely read like NYT, The Guardian, The Atlantic, so on and so forth—and author of this smash book, Einstein’s Dreams, which has been turned into a play and translated into, like, a zillion different languages. Now, he’s come back with a book that assures you that you’ve been wasting time perfectly well. And it’s okay! It’s good, even!

Emily: Wait, tell me more about this! I want to feel virtuous for laying in the grass and staring at my flowers.

Caitlin: It’s more than virtuous—it’s ESSENTIAL: for creativity, for establishing a solid sense of self, for problem-solving. For your sanity, really. In this bonus episode of Simplify, Alan Lightman talks about all of this stuff.

Emily: Cool! So, can we jump right in? I want to hear more about this.

Caitlin: Yeah. Let’s do it. And, stick around—Emily and I will be back in the Bookend, where we’ll recap what Alan and I talked about in the interview and create a book list that’ll help you waste time well—and guilt-free. Catch you then!

Caitlin Interviews Alan Lightman

Caitlin: Hi Alan. Thank you so much for joining us today. Could you please introduce yourself?

Alan: Well, I do a number of things I teach at MIT. I used to be a physicist for many years. I did research in physics. I don’t do that anymore. I now teach humanities courses at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology or MIT. I also write essays, articles, books, novels. And the last thing I do is I founded a nonprofit organization that works to empower women in Southeast Asia.

Caitlin: So we’re going to talk today about your most recent publication. it’s called In Praise Of Wasting Time. And the central idea here is that a little time wasting is positive, if not crucial, for creativity, effectiveness, wholeness as a person. Can you tell me about your journey to getting to this idea?

Alan: I’ve always been a hyper-well-organized person to a fault, and have always tried to use my time in the most effective manner. I’m able to fit each vacant area of time to some task, and I began realizing — it’d be about 10 or 15 years ago — that I was not allowing myself any time for just reflection and contemplation, that I was feeling pressured all the time, feeling driven all the time.

I have led a pretty driven life, and I began worrying about what I was losing in having that kind of lifestyle. So that’s what got me started.

Caitlin: Was there a specific event that drove you to start exploring changing what your behaviors were?

Alan: That’s a good question. I think there might have been a moment some years ago. My wife is a painter, and we’ve been married for 40 years. And there might have been a moment, where she was rushing to go in one direction of the house, and I was rushing to go into another direction to the house, and she just grabbed my shoulders and said, let’s just stop for a moment and look into each other’s eyes. And that may sound like a sentimental and trivial thing, but I think, even with our intimate partners sometimes we are just rushing around, checking off our to-do lists every minute of the day. And when she stopped me and held my shoulders, I realized that we had to make a change, that I had to make a change in my lifestyle.

Caitlin: Wow. So, that’s actually a really significant moment. How did you start making those changes? What changed for you directly after that?

Alan: Well, one thing that we do is we turn off all of our devices during dinner. And another thing is that I’m making time in my day to just take quiet walks. I don’t carry my smartphone with me most of the time. In fact, most of the time I keep it turned off and in a drawer of my desk.

Another thing that my wife and I have done, which we acknowledge requires a lot of privilege and not everyone can do this. But in the summertime we retreat to an island in Maine, off the coast of Maine. And we spend several months there, and we basically unplug from the wired world at that time.

Again, not everybody can do that. But I do think that everybody can find quiet times of the day, or create quiet times of the day without their smartphones, without their devices.

Caitlin: You mentioned walking. When you go for walks, do you purposely try to clear your mind or you working on problems as you’re walking?

Alan: No, I try to leave my mind vacant. There are thoughts that occur, but I try to let my mind wander. I know that the composer Gustav Mahler used to take three-hour walks in the afternoon after lunch, and some of his musical ideas would come to him then. But he would just let his mind wander.

And, I think, it’s very important for not only the creative mind, but just for the replenishment of the mind to have periods of time that are completely unstructured.

And if ideas come during that time or thoughts that’s wonderful, but there should not be any goal for that time away from the grid.

Caitlin: So it’s a goalless time, which, I guess, some people could interpret as wasting time. So then that isn’t wasting time too, clearly. What is the definition of wasting time?

Alan: Well, my definition of wasting time is any time spent that’s unstructured and without a goal. So going to lunch with a friend could be wasting time under that definition, unless you’re going to lunch because you want to talk your friend into loaning you with thousand dollars or something like that. So it’s unstructured time without a goal.

And brain research has actually shown that, when you have such unstructured time, that there’re actually different areas of the brain that are activated, and other areas of the brain are deactivated. And creative thought occurs in that part of the brain that is called “the default mode,” when you’re not trying to accomplish anything. One of the most important values of wasting time for me, and to find in the sense which I’ve just done is that, it’s a time that we can consolidate our self-identity. And by that I mean, we can think about who we are, and what’s important to us, our values, and where we want to be in the future. We don’t do that in any organized way, but we recall things in the past that we’ve done, maybe something that we’re proud of, something that we regret, people that we’ve known, things that we’ve done. And all of that is part of consolidating our sense of self. And you really do need quiet time, reflective time to do that.

And one of the dangers that I see in the frantic pace of modern world, in which we’re all looking at our iPhone, our smartphones every three or four minutes and plugged in to the grid all the time is, that we don’t give ourselves that quiet time in which we can think about who we are.

Caitlin: How much do you blame technology for us losing pieces of who we are?

Alan: That’s a wonderful question. And I think, technology has abetted and enabled us to live the frantic plugged in life that we do. But I don’t think, that we can blame technology. Technology by itself does not have values. It does not have a mind. It can be used for good and it can be used for ill. And it’s how we human beings use the technology that determines its value.

So we have to use technology more thoughtfully, and not just immediately buy the next smartphone that works three times faster than the previous model. We should think about how we’re using technology, which is really a habit of mind, and in general think about our lifestyle.

Caitlin: You know, it strikes me that actually technology, and one of the primary ways in which we fritter time away with technology, is social media, like blogs, like Twitter, like Instagram. And they can be used as ways to consolidate who we are, or at least to express it. We can build whole temples to self, whole narratives about who we are. Then maybe is it a less honest way of being who we are than, say, taking a walk in the woods is?

Alan: Well, I would say that it’s lesser in the sense that it’s mediated. It’s sort of the difference between going outside and looking at a tree versus taking a photograph of the tree with your smartphone, and then studying a digital image of the tree. I think, that the hyper connectedness that we have, that has been enabled by social media gives us an illusion of intimacy. But I don’t think it’s real intimacy because we can pretend, we can create false identities, avatars, and so on, on social media. Whereas it’s harder to pretend when you are face to face with someone.

I don’t think that anything is going to replace face-to-face contact.

Caitlin: But I wanted to switch tracks just a little bit actually. One of the things that really struck me in the book was the relationship between play, and procrastination, and problem-solving. Could you speak a little bit about how you found that those first two things, play and procrastination, facilitate that third one?

Alan: Well, studies have been done, showing that when we are just playing, if a problem has been seeded in our mind before the play begins, or before the procrastination begins, that the unconscious mind is at work attempting to solve the problem. And numerous studies have been showing that people are better at problem-solving, if they have a period of play or procrastination, after the problem has been introduced to them, but before they need to come up with the answer. They come up with better answers, if they had that intermediate period of of play and procrastination.

And we also know that the child psychologists and sociologists who studied the play of children, is that children when they’re left to their own devices without any instruction, without any rules, without any adult authority will find novel ways to solve problems, that they will make tools and toys out of unusual objects that were not necessarily designed for those tools and toys. But the children will find ways to redesign them or reconceive them. And so, I think that that play, which really is the unstructured activity for entertainment, you might call it that, has shown to be very valuable as a means to creativity and problem-solving. And it all gets down to the unconscious mind.

We know that the conscious mind is only a small fraction of the neuronal activity, the activity in the brain, which to me is somewhat frightening proposition.

Caitlin: Right, it’s like looking out at space.

Alan: Yes. I think that I’ve made a decision, but really is my unconscious mind that decided that 10 seconds earlier, before I was aware of it: experiments have shown that. But the positive side of it is that, when you give yourself license to play, when you give yourself license to goof off, to just take walks in the country, or just sit quietly in a room, that you are giving space for your unconscious mind to do all kinds of things: to think about who you are, to remember things, to ponder problems, to make decisions, or simply to replenish itself.

Caitlin: Do you make time for play for yourself?

Alan: I try to.

Caitlin: How do you do it?

Alan: Well, I consider any activity where I’m not trying to accomplish something as play. I read, I take walks, I have grandchildren that I roll around on the floor with and try to get into their world, which is a world of play. In the summertime, I go out in the boat on the ocean. I play tennis occasionally. Going out for dinner with friends, to me that’s a form of play. It’s entertaining, it’s relaxing, you’re not trying to accomplish anything. So those are some of the things that I do.

Caitlin: You know, it occurs to me that this is probably intentional, but you just gave the same definition to play that you did to wasting time. Earlier said, wasting time is any activity without a goal.

Alan: Well, there might be a slight difference. I think, wasting time and play in my definition are very similar, but I usually think of play as something where you are doing something for entertainment value. I mean not everybody may agree with that understanding of play. But I don’t require entertainment, when I am wasting time. I just require that I have no structure and no intentions, no goals.

Caitlin: I also wanted to ask you about getting stuck. You say, “Scientists are also happy when they become stuck, when they discover interesting questions that they cannot answer. Because that is when their imaginations and creativity are set on fire. That is when the greatest progress occurs.” I really like that because, I think, getting stuck is something that that makes a lot of people panic. But you make a case for how getting stuck is actually a really good sign. Could you talk about that a little bit?

Alan: Yes. Well, some years ago, I did a study of great scientific discoveries made in the 20th century. And I looked at the discovery process, and I found that in many cases the scientists were stuck on a problem before the new insight occurred. And I began to realize that getting stuck is often part of the creative process. Because when we are stuck, our unconscious mind begins trying lots and lots of solutions. And it’s really unfortunate that many of us, and especially our young people, and our students, feel that when they’ve gotten stuck on a problem that they have failed. And I would just suggest to them that getting stuck is often a good thing. It’s happened in some of the greatest discoveries ever made. And when you get stuck, you should just stay calm, relax, and realize that your unconscious mind is trying out different solutions to the problem.

Now you do have to have a prepared mind for this creative process to happen. That is before you’re stuck, you need to to know what the problem is you’re trying to solve, and you need to have done your homework, and learning the the skills and techniques needed to solve the problem. But then getting stuck is a welcome part of the creative process. And I myself, both as a writer and as a scientist, have been stuck many times. And often is a period that comes just before I have some wonderful new insight in solving the problem.

Caitlin: That calm before the storm.

Alan: That calm before the storm. So I think that it’s a very exciting moment when we’re stuck. Because we’re working on a problem that we think has meaning and has significance, and there’s something mysterious about it. We believe there’s a solution of the problem, we haven’t yet found it. And it’s exciting to be on the cusp of discovery.

Caitlin: Yeah. That is an exciting moment. I really love that feeling. So then your process for getting through those stuck moments is just sort of waiting it out, and remaining calm.

Alan: Waiting it out, remaining calm, you know, you might take a walk. But the main thing is not to panic. And I hope that our young people can learn that lesson. And I hope that their teachers can give them space to be stuck, and not make them feel that they have failed or that they’ve only got 10 minutes to solve the problem, but honor that part of the creative process.

Caitlin: Yeah. I imagine a school or a classroom in which your teacher says to you, “Ah, well, this is a really exciting place to be actually. Why don’t you give it 10 minutes? Why don’t you go walk around the hall for a minute and come back,” that would be different kind of place. That’s so interesting.

Alan: It would be, it would be.

Caitlin: So getting stuck and procrastination though, they’re not the same things. Right?

Alan: No, I don’t I don’t think so. Uh, I mean, my my definition of procrastination is as you know how to do something, but you just put it off.

Caitlin: I like the definition, you know how to do it, but you’re putting it off versus getting stuck is you want to do it, but you don’t know how.

Alan: Yes, I would say that that’s the distinction.

Alan: All of these issues that we’ve been talking about are related to unplugging from the grid. And they all require in some way or another that we separate ourselves for a time from from the noise and the rush of the wired world.

Caitlin: You know, it strikes me that, this is a thing that more and more people are discovering they need. Because if you look at this this mindfulness craze, that is hitting Western society, it seems like people are beginning to understand that they really do need to unplug. They really do need to listen to themselves, and they need solitude. Actually you have a whole section in In Praise Of Wasting Time, in which you talk about solitude and why it’s healthy. But most people don’t feel that way about it. What what has happened to us in our ability to be alone with ourselves?

Alan: Well, we’ve gotten habituated to getting constant external stimulation. And I know, there were some researchers, there was a collaboration between the University of Virginia and Harvard University in the U.S. Some sociologists and psychologists did an experiment with some university students, to find out whether they could sit in a room for 10 minutes by themselves without external stimulation. And they found that most of the young people could not do that.

Caitlin: Is that the study in which people actually chose to shock themselves rather than sit there?

Alan: Yes.

Caitlin: Oh my God, I read that and I kind of couldn’t believe it. It was something like 75% of male students and, I think, 25% of female students decided they would rather shock themselves, than sit in that chair for 12 minutes and do nothing.

Alan: Yes

Caitlin: That’s unbelievable to me.

Alan: It is unbelievable. And so metaphorical, that we’d rather have a painful external stimulation than no stimulation at all. But you can get addicted to anything. And we’ve gotten addicted to things. If you look at the people that you know, who have smartphones ––and, of course, that’s almost everybody today–– just observe how often they look at their phones. And get on a subway, car, or a bus and observe how many people are looking at their smartphones. Or get on an airplane, where you’re forced to turn off your smartphone during the flight. As soon as the plane touches down, look around you and see how many people immediately pull their smartphones out and get online.

Caitlin: Right. Yeah.

Alan: That’s an addiction. And how do you go about breaking on addiction?

Alan: Well, you have to become aware that you’re addicted, first of all. I think, that’s step number one: awareness. But I think, being aware that you’re addicted, and then thinking about what you have lost by being addicted.

I mean, we’ve been talking this conversation: we’ve lost quiet time, we’ve lost time for reflection, we’ve lost time for creativity, we’ve lost time for consolidation of our self-identity. You have to think about what you’ve lost, you’ve also lost control, because one of the definitions of addiction, I think, is that you don’t have control. So I think those are some of the steps that need to be taken.

Caitlin: So I just want to make clear to sum up some of the things that we’ve just talked about. When your book is called In Praise Of Wasting Time the kind of time that you’re actually talking about, it’s solitude time, it’s allowing yourself of time to get stuck, it’s procrastination time, and it’s things like, taking walks. But the real waste of time seems to be the frittering of time that we do on the internet.

Alan: Well, I don’t think that all of that is wasted time. And, you know, as we were saying earlier, I think that some of the social media is positive, communication with loved ones far away is positive. But we need to be more thoughtful about how we are using the internet.

Caitlin: Alan, if you could tell people one thing about using their own time in a thoughtful way. If you could just leave people with a thought about how to use their time a little bit better or in a way that would better serve them as human beings. What would that be?

Alan: One thing.

Caitlin: I suppose another way to look at it is what’s the central thing that you were hoping to… What was the urgency of this book?

Alan: Well, there’s a negative way of answering that and a positive way. And the negative way is that we have become prisoners of the wired world. And we have become addicted to constant external stimulation.

And the positive message is that spending time without goals and without structure is valuable for creativity, it’s valuable for replenishing our minds, and it’s valuable for consolidating our self-identity and thinking about who we are and what our values are.

Caitlin: Before we wrap up, I just wanted to ask you what have you read lately that you’ve liked? We always talk about books on Simplify, and I love to hear what our authors that we speak to have been reading and enjoyed lately.

Alan: Well, I’m reading a novel by Jennifer Egan, I think it is called a Manhattan Beach. It’s her latest novel.

I am also reading a book on Buddhist thought, it’s called The Essentials Of Tibetan Buddhism.

Caitlin: What got you interested in that?

Alan: Well, the Buddhist for thousands of years have been very good at understanding the importance of being in the moment and being present in the moment. And you mentioned mindfulness earlier, and mindfulness is one word for that of being present. And it’s closely related to what we’ve been talking about.

So I’ve also recently reread Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway, which is just a fabulous book and she talks about time in her book there. She’s one of the first modern writers to write in the stream of consciousness mode, and to let us know really what thoughts are going through a character’s head as they react to events around them and remember events and just a landmark book in so many ways.

Caitlin: Actually last time I was home, I discovered that I had her book of collected essays, and I brought it back with me. And I haven’t gotten to it yet. I’ve got an ever-increasing pile of reading on my nightstand, but I can’t wait to get to it. Oh, so good!

Alan: A Room of One’s Own, that one is the collection of essays, which is really magnificent. I think, in some ways as part of the recent awareness of the importance of gender equality, and giving women their due position in the world. And Virginia Woolf was certainly one of the pioneers of the movement we’re seeing today.

Caitlin: Right, and you know, I think that A Room of One’s Own actually even relates to what we’ve just been talking about. She talks about a room of one’s own – it’s not just a room, it’s the space and it’s the time to have the freedom to ponder, and to be with oneself, and to create an identity, and to create the things that that identity can uniquely create when it is left on its own to be creative.

Alan: Absolutely. It speaks directly to what we’ve been talking about. Of course, that was the 1930s or whenever it was, that she wrote that, I don’t remember exactly when it was. But long before the internet, but there were still a lot of noise and hustle and bustle in the world of a different kind.

I mean, way back in the 1800’s Henry David Thoreau wrote that we don’t ride the railroad, the railroad rides us. So even when you go back in history, you find that the same problem occurs with new technologies. That if we don’t use them wisely, we become their prisoner.

Caitlin: The thought of a railroad riding us is kind of alarming to me, I have to admit. But maybe it should be, maybe that’s a better metaphor for… Maybe that’s the thing that will nudge us into taking care of our minds rather than attending to our tech.

Alan: It might be. It might be.

Caitlin: OK, Alan. That’s all I’ve got for now. And thank you so much for taking the time to talk today. It’s been a pleasure.

Alan: Caitlin, thank you so much. You’re an excellent conversationalist, and thank you for letting me be on your program.

The Bookend

Emily: Welcome to The Bookend. Where we end…with books.
So, we just heard Alan Lightman give us lots of good reasons to feel good about wasting time! I feel pretty great about that. Caitlin, what was it that made you want to speak with him on Simplify?

Caitlin: Well, for a few years now I’ve been noticing that a topic of conversation that keeps coming up—with people of many different ages and walks of life, from former professors of mine to young people I speak with in shops—is this sense that we’re all too busy. So, when I saw the title of Lightman’s book, I grabbed it right away and found myself going “Yes! Yes! More people need to hear about this!” as I read.

Emily: Yeah! So, what IS the one thing that really stuck out to you from this interview?

Caitlin: The thing that really stuck with me is this idea of getting “stuck,” and how it’s actually super useful. It’s this moment of stuckness that usually signals you’re working on a breakthrough, or a really interesting problem, and you just need to be patient with it.

Emily: Yeah, although it is a fine line that distinguishes “I’m letting this thought marinate while I move on to something else” and “I’m procrastinating” And sometimes the breakthrough only comes under great pressure–where you’re really waiting until the last minute to get things done—but this can also cause extreme discomforting for sure.

Caitlin: Yeah, well, Lightman says everybody procrastinates. Even he does, and that’s totally okay.

Emily: Mmm. Yeah. I mean for me if I ever have a deadline for a project that I’m just not moving forward on, then I often will take a break whether it’s baking or reading something. Actually, this is a phenomenon that you can look up. Look up hashtag #procrastibake, and there’s a whole underworld of people who are baking as they’re procrastinating.

Caitlin: Oh, that’s awesome!

Emily: ….So, did you pick some books to go along with this topic?

Caitlin: I did. Do you want to go first, then? You’re the guest, after all.

Emily: Gladly, thank you. My choice might come across as a bit unorthodox but I was struck by two things that Alan brought up in your discussion, namely the importance of play, in this case, he mentioned children’s innate aptitude for playing in particular, as well as spending time in nature. So the title I suggest combines the two. It’s called How to Raise a Wild Child by Scott D. Sampson.

Caitlin: Sounds exciting. Tell me more.

Emily: Now, this is a parenting book. Not all of our listeners are parents. But the struggles that today’s families face (i.e. the squabbles over screen time, higher rates of children affected by ADHD and obesity, kids that are more cooped up in the house than in earlier generations, or children who have rigorously structured days) – so these aren’t just issues that face families and children, they can be relevant to many people.

Remember how Alan brought up how hard it is to unplug, and that many of us are becoming addicted to our devices? This is something that so many of us can relate to–I can certainly relate to.

Anyway, How to Raise a Wild Child suggests some very down-to-earth ideas about staying connected with the outdoors, and nature, and re-kindling a person’s curiosity and love for Mother Earth. And you know, we can’t all pull a Henry David Thoreau and run away to a pond in the woods, or live the dream on an island in Maine each summer, but you know, we can keep houseplants, or take an evening walk, or we can even use our screentime to watch Planet Earth. So, yeah, How to Raise A Wild Child is my pick.

Caitlin: Okay, so my first book is Leisure by Josef Pieper.

So, today almost all of us consider long workweeks totally normal. Meanwhile, the mere concept of leisure has gotten a bad rap: it’s almost synonymous with laziness, right? But it hasn’t always been this way.

This mindset came to be pretty recently—just after the world wars, when populations had to scramble to rebuild. Since then this total work ethic – where weekends and vacations are seen as recovery days so that we can get back to our (working) lives – has persisted and led to a serious decrease in leisure time.

We now work so much that we have little time to observe and contemplate life. We feel lazy when we aren’t working and guilty when we take time out to enrich our lives. And it sucks. We really need to rethink our approach to leisure, and leisure?— I never know how to say that word—by Josef Pieper, makes a really great case for exactly this.
Leisure leisure? Leisure just sound so much more luxurious!

Emily: Yes, it does.

Caitlin: Okay, we’ll go with leisure, then. So, then, that’s Leisure by Joseph Pieper.

Emily: And I do think that this is something that actually a lot of us can relate to. Starting to reframe leisure that is something that is worth your while.

Caitlin: It’s come up in culture more in terms of this term self care. That’s one way people think of it. But even that is putting a lot of pressure on people to really use that time for something. Leisure, without the intent to really do anything but be is so important, and it’s something that I think we’ve really lost an aptitude for. It took me moving to Europe to figure out how to really enjoy. She said, in a very gross, boojie way. But, anyway! Let’s move on to book number two!

It’s about THE INTERNET! It’s The Shallows by Nicholas Carr. And it was one of the earliest books—it’s from 2010—to look at what the internet is doing to our brains.

There’s some history of technology in there, studies in psychology and neuroscience research to explain how the internet fundamentally rewires our neural circuitry,

Emily: Ay ay ay!

Caitlin: and why some of Lightman’s concern about the grid might be pretty valid. So those are my picks.

Emily: Wow, thanks!

Caitlin: That about wraps it up.

Caitlin: Thanks for listening to this episode of Simplify. It was produced by me, Caitlin Schiller, Nat Darozhkina, Ben Jackson, and Ben Schuman-Stoler, who is developing new theories of child psychology by exposing his son to hour-long loops of Mongolian throat singing interspersed with 5 seconds of Rammstein.

Emily: It’s actually kind of disturbing, but I hear it’s making his kid really good at math? So, if you heard something that stuck with you on this episode, I hope you’ll do something for us: share it. Just sharing it with one person gets Simplify into the ears of somebody who might really appreciate it.

Caitlin: Thanks to everyone who’s already subscribed. If you’re not subscribed, do it! In our feed is where you’ll find not one, not two, but THREE seasons of Simplify, waiting for you expectantly. And, hey, thanks to anyone who’s given us a shout out, rating or review, whatever, on any of the podcatchers or Apple Podcast, Overcast, Stitcher, Pocket Casts, wherever you listen. Really helps and we’re really appreciative of that. So thanks!

And. We’re also on Twitter. I’m @CaitlinSchiller, Ben’s @bsto, and Emily—you’re:

Emily: @phillips_em

Caitlin: Fantastic.

Emily: And, by the way, Simplify is made by the same people who bring you Blinkist—this is the place where Caitlin and I both work. Blinkist is a learning app that takes insights the world’s bestselling nonfiction books and condenses them into these focused little capsules of knowledge available in audio or text that you can listen to or read in just about 15 minutes.

Caitlin: And we made it easy to try it out, too! You can get 14 days of Blinkist for free if you go to and type in the voucher code: relax

Emily: Tap in relax, and you’ll get two weeks free! So, is that it?

Caitlin: Pretty much! That wraps up season 3 for real-forreal now. But as I mentioned last episode around, we’re not disappearing. We’ll be popping up in your feed from time to time with a little author talk—and other exciting things, maybe you’ll hear Emily back—to tide you over ‘til Season 4. So, stay tuned, say hi at [email protected] or on Twitter, and thanks for listening, we’re glad to have you.

This is Caitlin—

Emily: And I’m Emily.

Caitlin: Checking out.

Emily: Checking out. Bye!

Caitlin: Bye!

Read the show notes for this episode here!

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