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08.31.21 The Assist #49

Updated: Aug 31, 2021

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Remind yourself today:

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Today’s checklist:



Routine + Ritual = Balance

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For some, it was the jingle of car keys or the “meditation” of driving. For others, it was stepping out of a train, pushing through a revolving door, or picking up a go-to mobile coffee order.

These are all daily rituals, the often subconscious cues that start and end our work days. Many remote workers neglect them, and as a result, feel as if their work always oozes into personal time and their personal time always oozes into work.

Stop the ooze by establishing strong remote work “bookend” rituals. Here’s how:

1) Imagine your perfect day.

  • How does it start?

  • How does it end?

2) What would your perfect “start” and “end” look like as a ritual?

  • For example, if your perfect day starts with watching the sun rise, then your ritual might be setting a timer before sunrise, walking to a good viewing point, and enjoying the scenery for 10 minutes.

3) Evaluate the ritual viability.

  • How long would these activities take?

  • Do you think you’ll really want to do them every single day?

  • Is it realistic to do them every day?

  • What aspects of your life could get in the way?

4) Keep going until you have some ideas that are 100% you.

5) Perform these rituals at the same time each day to establish habit and consistency. (If they’re good, you won’t need any reminders.)

Want to share your own routine you swear by? Drop it in the comments below 👇 to share with our TA Fam!



One Platform to Rule Them All

If you're old school and keep a notebook and pen handy to write down your to-dos, or use a handful of apps to stay on top of projects, can either supplement your workflow or become your sole solution to get things done.

The really cool thing about it is that you can manage all your team's work in one place (oh, and you can get it free if you're strapped for cash). No more endless e-mail threads or long meetings. With you can keep track of everything your team's working on, communicate in context, and get started in minutes with a super easy set-up.

Signing up for free won't just help you become more productive, you'll also be supporting The Assist 😊.

Sign up for free today!



Time Blocking Rules According to Your Gives-No-BLEEPS Alter Ego

Rule #1: Time blocking isn’t for the faint of heart.

Do you feel guilty about ignoring emails or instant messages during the time you’ve set aside to focus?

If you said “yes,” then you’ve got two options:

  1. Stop feeling guilty.

  2. Don’t try time blocking.

If you want time blocking to work for you, then you have to keep your blocked time sacred, accept no distractions (or prisoners), and feel no debilitating guilt.

Rule #2: Stop making it complicated.

TBH, the golden rule of time blocking is impossibly simple: Do one thing at a time.

Mozart once said (allegedly):

"The shorter way to do many things is to only do one thing at a time."

He understood the core of time blocking without reading a tome-sized rulebook or going all Elon Musk and blocking out every 5 minutes of his day.

Rule #3: Isolate your priorities and block time for them.

Did you run out of time in a day for all your non-priorities? Too bad. Time blocking is about pragmatism, not unrealistic hopes. It frees you from the bad habit of chronically disappointing yourself with ill-informed optimism.

Can’t we all agree that believing you “can” doesn’t lead to the miracle of completing enough tasks for two weeks in a single day?

Rule #4: Repeat and learn.

The only “right” way to do time blocking is the way that helps you get sh*t done.



News without the BS

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If you wish all news could be as no-nonsense as this, you'll want to check out a free nifty little newsletter called 1440. It's a daily digest of all the most important info in culture, science, sports, politics, business, and everything in between — and it's the fastest way to an informed and impartial point-of-view. The folks at 1440 scour over 100 sources every morning so you don't have to. You'll save time and start your day smarter. What more could you ask for? Sign up for 1440 now and get your first five-minute read this minute. It's completely free — no catches, no nonsense, and absolutely no BS.

Check out 1440 now.



Pivot-Proof Your Routine

“To expect the unexpected shows a thoroughly modern intellect.”

Oscar Wilde probably didn’t have modern work in mind when he said this, but that’s not going to stop us from applying his wisdom to routine, or more specifically, the challenge of handling constantly changing priorities.

To best prepare your routine for shifts, pivots, changes, and unexpected work, simply expect it. Allow room for it. Leave holes — or wiggle room, if you will — in your schedule to make it strategically flexible.

What’s going to fill these gaps? Who knows! But you’ll be ready for whatever it is, and you won’t even have to panic and reprioritize.

Keeper of the Home describes the benefits of keeping your schedule flexible perfectly:

“Just as our backbones flex and move according to how we need our body to perform, we also need our routines to be flexible so that, as the day happens, we can move with it, adjusting and modifying as necessary, and still get the most important things done.”

Hear! Hear!



Petal+Eon: Florals for Bonding

A strong team or group of friends is kind of like a floral arrangement. Every person/flower adds a special something to the overall piece, and by sticking together, they can achieve a beautiful balance between variety and harmony.

You can manifest this metaphor in real life during baby showers, bridal showers, and even team-building events with a Petal+Eon floral arranging workshop. Best of all, you will create long-lasting memories because Petal+Eon will ship each participant a floral kit containing a curated selection of REAL flowers preserved to last 2 years. These eco-friendly flowers never need water, so you can't kill them! And the workshop will fit your budget, starting at $45/person.

This team building event recommendation actually came straight from one of our very own readers, Lauren (thanks again for the hot tip!):

"It was the most relaxing and lovely event, almost meditative, and the best part was we all had a lovely dried floral arrangement to keep. I think the men in our group liked it just as much as the women."

The workshops go like this:

You and your crew get together (in person or virtually) to enjoy the art of floral arranging while also getting support, feedback, and inspiration from each other. During the 45-minute workshop, everyone creates an arrangement that expresses their individuality while also symbolizing teamwork and unity.

It's easy for the organizer:

As a complimentary option, Petal+Eon will create a landing page for your event, so all you need to do is send a link to your guests. They select a vase, flower color scheme, and enter their shipping details. You can pay in advance or allow each participant to pay. Petal+Eon also ships internationally — so you can invite your friends and colleagues from anywhere!

P.S. You're invited:

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It's been a while since we've tried to get some of the TA Fam together, so we thought we'd give this floral arranging event a try for ourselves! Let's get together for some flowery fun. Here's how you can join us:

  • Visit our event page for more info

  • Order your preferred floral arrangement by 9/9 at an exclusive discount only available for the TA Fam (and have a chance to win a FREE arrangement if you order by 9/6)

  • Attend a floral arranging workshop:

  • Workshop 1: Wednesday, September 22nd at 3pm PST (6pm New York) OR

  • Workshop 2: Thursday, September 23rd at 6pm PST (9pm New York)

Don't miss out — sign up today!



High-Caliber EAs Wanted

33Vincent is on the hunt for rockstar Executive Assistants to join their freelance community and support world-changing clients. They offer completely remote, flexible work and a thriving EA community of best practices and resources. They look for:

  • 5+ years experience in executive administrative support or client services: inbox and calendar management, file management, contact management, to-do list management, travel planning & logistics, catering management, etc.

  • Exemplary planning, time management skills & customer service instinct

  • Minimum of 10+ hours/week of availability

Learn more & apply here today!



In case you missed it...

Goody "To me, from me". It's always a good idea to treat yourself. Create a free account, get $20, gift yourself chocolates, and keep being a boss.

Morning Brew gives you business news without the yawns (and inspired us to launch The Assist — definitely give it a go!)

APC Live Stream & Virtual APC Travel isn’t always an option, so APC has created multiple ways for you to capture the training and connection from their annual, in-person event without having to travel. #TrainingWithoutTravel

Office Otter helps you automate your to-do list by turning your conversations in Slack, email, text and Siri into tasks.



Latest Listings

Visit our Treasure Trove page. We'll continuously add resources to this page, so bookmark it for easy access. Access every previous newsletter in our Archives.

Can't wait until next week's The Assist? Here are some recs to tie you over until then:

Pitch this idea at work for your next team building event:



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