OG Tuesday Issue #161

The Assist Newsletter
October 23, 2023
Start your morning with this affirmation:
OG Tuesday Affirmation #161
Today’s checklist: Plan your big 2024 revenge, read on-screen without getting a headache, build your empathy muscles, and learn a breathing exercise you’ll actually remember.


Have you planned your 2024 revenge?


Revenge travel, that is.

The term started popping up across the internet in 2021, as a concise way to describe that collective, and also concentrated, yearning to get out of the house and see the world after being in lock down for oh-so long. Since then, the amount of people traveling, and also traveling in a big way, has been climbing steadily back toward pre-Pandemic volume.

Experts think 2024 will be a big travel year. In other words: It might be a good idea to plan and book that dream vacation early. (If you’ve got an epic European vacation on the brain, Smartflyer recommends booking 6-9 months in advance.)

Not sure where to go? Here’s a roundup of areas both travelers and travel experts have their eyes on:


New Course: Project Management or Admins!


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ASAP is excited to be releasing its first on-demand course! This 4-part course will provide you with foundational skills needed to establish your own project management system.

Templates, processes, and other tools needed to kick-start your journey will be provided upon purchase. Deliver the power of project management by the end of your learnings!

  • Session 1: Project Initiation – Learn how to create a sustainable PM system and utilize a Project Toolkit for project success.
  • Session 2: Project Planning for Success – Plan project details and change management strategies.
  • Session 3: Project Execution – Focus on implementing planned work activities and promoting team collaboration and commitment.
  • Session 4: Project Closure – Officially close the project to allow the team to move on and share lessons learned for future improvement.

Are you interested? Learn more today!


More reading. Less headaches.


The simple act of reading can quickly turn into quite a headache, especially if you’re trying to do it on a screen, and maybe that screen is bordered with a variety of ads and distractions, and maybe you were just squinting through the infinity cells of a spreadsheet, and…you get the picture.

A few simple visual adjustments have the potential to make reading as restorative as it should be—to help you really and truly want to do it again.

Here are two hacks to try when your brain is ready to read but your eyes are not having it.

1) Use browser extensions designed specifically to help you read.

Don’t place the burden on your poor tired eyes to not look at that ad for your all-time favorite restaurant. Give them a break by using browser extensions to make sure you read and see only what you want to.

A few options:

2) Switch between reading and listening

If you’ve been busy staring at a screen for work and day-to-day communication, reading breaks might not feel like breaks if they also involve screens. Maybe it would be more relaxing to close your eyes and let a text-to-speech tool read to you. (It’s basically storytime.)

A few options:

Bonus tip! If you have a Kindle, make creative use of it. Save that web article as a PDF, attach it to an email with “Convert” as the subject line, and email it to your Kindle. Don’t know your dedicated Kindle email address? Here’s how to find it>


Hiring just got easier


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Hit the (empathy) gym


Psychologist Jamil Zaki is an expert on empathy and the author of The War For Kindness: Building Empathy In A Fractured World.

He told NPR that he considered witnessing his parents divorce as a sort of “empathy gym,” a circumstance that challenged him to significantly strengthen his empathy muscles.

“I always think of my parents’ divorce as an empathy gym for me that forced me to work out my ability to care about and understand other people,” he says.

He’s thought a lot about the idea of building empathy muscles since then and has even come up with some exercises. Here’s your empathy workout cheat sheet:

Develop your self-compassion, a sort of prerequisite for showing empathy to others.
Exercise: The next time your thoughts veer into self criticism, imagine how you might talk to a friend in the same situation.

Give kindness when you’re feeling your most stressed.
Exercise: The next time you feel like you don’t have anything to offer anyone else, do a small act of kindness—even something as simple as sending an encouraging text.

Listen to opinions without disagreeing or debating.
Exercise: The next time you disagree with someone, resist the urge to debate or try to change their mind. Simply explain why you have your opinion and listen to them do the same. Listening is the only requirement. You do not need to adopt their opinion.

Check in each time you check your phone.
Exercise: The next time you pick up your phone, do a simple check-in to remind yourself of the human emotions that may have motivated you to look at it. Ask yourself what you’re feeling, what you’re thinking, and what you really want from any interactions you have.

Celebrate demonstrations of empathy.
Exercise: Start watching out for empathy demonstrations in real life. Maybe someone in your circle anticipated someone’s feelings or a work colleague offered some much-needed help. Let them know you appreciate their behavior by telling them how much you admire what you observed.


Make a wish! A memorable breathing exercise


When you’re feeling less-than-calm, you might remind yourself to just take deep breaths. Just breathe! Why is that so hard?

You breathe all the time, but a little panic response can suddenly make controlling your own breath feel like acrobatics.

Here’s a breathing exercise to help. (It’s also fantastically easy to remember.)

  • Imagine your fingers are candles on a birthday cake.
  • Go through one-by-one, making a wish and then blowing out those invisible flames. (Breathe out slowly to make sure you get it in one go so your wish comes true.)
  • Still feeling jittery? Repeat.


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Hooray, You Made It to the End of Our Newsletter!


Riddle me this: I am taken from a mine, and shut up in a wooden case, from which I am never released, and yet I am used by almost every person. What am I?

⭐ Answer here.

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