OG Tuesday Issue #195

The Assist Newsletter
June 17, 2024
Cartoon figure reaching for the sun with a positive affirmation: 'I am focused on what I can control and let go of what I cannot.' It's like a warm hug from your daily sunshine.

Today’s checklist: 

  • Advocate for your team
  • Peak productivity days and times
  • TA reader Kristine encourages you to be specific

🤔 Riddle me this: I am a vessel of countless realms, with no breath, I tell tales that overwhelm. I have a spine, yet cannot stand, I’m turned by hands to explore each land. What am I? (Find the answer on the bottom).


👀 Juneteenth: A Greenwood Story.

🧠 Mind and Mood: Is it possible for female founders to prioritize their mental health?

⚡ Productivity: This neuroscientist wants to know, “Are you doing too much?

🤖 Futur-ish: How AR, AI, and spatial computing are changing collaboration.

📊 Retirement: The Harris Poll says collective attitudes about retirement are changing.


Notion GoalsHQ

Special Announcement from Joanna:
How to Set (and Achieve) Quarterly Goals Without Losing Your Mind


Join me on Thursday 6/20 for a highly requested, highly anticipated, free training on how to set up a dialed quarterly goal planning process that:
  1. Skyrockets everyone’s productivity
  2. Strengthens internal comms
  3. Improves happiness at work

Learn this simple process and you’ll get more ish done in less time with less stress.

I’ll show you, step-by-step, the tried and true goal-setting process I use with my team every week to achieve massive productivity gains and breakout results.

The Zoom gods have us capped at 500 attendees and 80,000 are seeing this email (don’t dilly-dally).

I’m so excited for this, see you there!

Joanna's headshot


Joanna, The Assist Co-Founder


Animated scene of a multitasking person surrounded by laptops, coffee cups, and musical notes, with a black cat chilling amidst the chaos. It's the perfect visual for a day in the life of a work-from-home pro.

What’s the Most Productive Day of the Week?


There’s no such thing as a universally productive day for everyone.

Productivity is contingent on too many factors and interactions between those factors to list.

However, a slew of surveys conducted over the last few years point to some notable productivity patterns:

  • Remote workers show different productivity trends from on-site workers. Remote workers have a productive streak from Tuesday – Thursday. They call Monday their least productive day while on-site workers call Monday their most productive day. (Prodoscore)
  • Monday is a crowd productivity favorite. 29% of professionals say Monday is their most productive day. Only 11% say the same thing about Friday. (Robert Half)
  • Productivity preferences are even more starkly divided between the AM and PM. 75% do their best work in the morning. Only 2% like working at night. (Robert Half)
  • 11 AM is a particularly good time for productivity. Workers report getting the most tasks done around 11 AM. (Redbooth)
  • Looking at your full annual calendar? People report being the most productive in October and the least productive in January. (Redbooth)
  • Some data suggest that in the United States, your specific state of residence could also influence your peak productivity days and times. If you live in Hawaii, it could be Wednesday at 9:51 AM. However, if you live in Alaska, it could be Thursday at 10:52 AM. (Moneypenny)

Bottom line: Knowing these broad productivity trends and pinpointing your personal peaks can help you further optimize your productivity. (By avoiding scheduling meetings around 11 AM, for example.)


a gif showing the different features of the Bonusly platform.

Is This the Death of Employee Disengagement??


Nearly 77% of employees are disengaged or actively sabotaging their company. (Gallup)

But why?

Or, more importantly, how can you make your team the exception?

Here’s a hint 👇.

80% of employees who receive weekly meaningful feedback are fully engaged. (Gallup)

Could there really be a relationship between regular workplace feedback and engagement?

We tested this with Bonusly—the world’s #1 automated employee recognition and rewards program…

In a nutshell, Bonusly is a software that allows employees to award each other points for above-and-beyond performance. They can then redeem those points for rewards…without HR lifting a finger!

Over 3,400 companies use Bonusly to…

  • Encourage exceptional performance
  • Maximize team alignment
  • Boost motivation & morale

It’s fun, easy and its set-it-and-forget-it nature makes it a manager’s dream.

Get a 14-day free trial of Bonusly today. (No payment info required!)


Illustration of a diverse group of people working together, passing various shapes like circles and squares. It's teamwork at its finest—geometry style.

Be an Advocate for Your Team


One TA Subscriber wants to make sure their team gets the recognition they deserve:

The biggest challenge I am currently facing is true validation for all my and my team’s contributions.

You might just find the solution in employee advocacy.

Doing this right is a feature common across orgs that make it onto lists of the best places to work. That’s what researchers from RedThread learned recently.

“One thing executives at the organization told us was particularly striking: Managers act not only as guides and coaches to employees but also as advocates,” they write. “[. . .] Through research and conversations with leaders at a wide array of companies, I’ve seen that advocacy can be a powerful tool for managers, boosting productivity and employee retention. It also improves relationships both inside and outside the organization, which helps the organization flourish.”

How To: A.D.V.O.C.A.T.E.

A – Advertise
Advertise your team’s accomplishments.

Don’t just share, discuss, or talk about your team’s accomplishments—advertise them.

In other words, put concerted effort into framing your team’s contributions in the most short, concise, and memorable way possible.

This subtle strategy increases the chances that all the amazing things your team does will be instantly understood and remembered by the incredibly busy higher ups you want to turn into your group’s number-one fans.

D – Details
Discuss your team’s skills and accomplishments using detailed examples.

Talking up your team using vague terminology might be enough to earn a “great job” or “excellent work” from the big bosses, but if you want your team’s accomplishments to be truly and deeply appreciated, then you must provide specific, unique, and memorable details.

Be sure to cover the who, the what, the how, and the when.

The experts at SHRM relay the following advice from an author and leadership development expert:

“Rather than just saying Jane is good at negotiating contracts, for example, her manager should tell a story: ‘Because of her skill set, Jane was able to renegotiate much better terms on this contract we’ve had for years. Nobody else has ever been able to get them to agree to new terms.’”

V – Voice your praise
Voice praise at any and every opportunity.

Make praising your team casually and publicly second nature, like breathing. This kind of thing, especially if you keep it up, works cumulatively to boost org-wide positive perceptions of your team.

O – Open your network to support them
Open your personal network to support your developing direct reports.

“Much has been said about the importance of helping employees learn to grow their own networks,” writes the MIT Sloan Management Review. “When managers act as advocates for their staff members, they go a step further as a connector by actively sharing their own networks with their employees.”

C – Career-minded mentorship
Mentor the career and the person—not the position.

Offer career-minded mentorship that considers and honors direct reports’ most authentic and long-term aspirations in addition to mentorship that focuses on learning and development that has a more obvious and immediate impact on your current team and current goals.

A – Ask questions
Ask questions, listen, and avoid assumptions.

Ensuring overarching recognition and support for the team is an accomplishment. However, a strong leader’s work doesn’t end there.

Advocating for employees also means asking and listening to what skills and talents they wish to be recognized for or to develop further.

T –  Take their side, at all times
Take their side on all big decisions that affect their work schedules, work-life balance, and their lives in general.

This is a good example of how appreciating and recognizing your team members can snowball into better appreciation from higher ups. For example, if you’re advocating for the continuation of full-time remote work despite executive push-back, that’s also an endorsements.

It’s a signal to the higher-level managers that these employees have your full trust. (That can be a powerful thing for big decision makers to witness.)

E –  Embrace the idea of whole-human support
Embrace the opportunity to support your team from multiple angles.

To garner broader support and buy-in for your team’s overall awesomeness, your own support must be pristine from all angles.

It must extend to supporting them in times of negative attention as well as positive. That means going to bat for your team members, even when—or especially when—you don’t even agree with them.


a chat window in Kickresume where it lists “Marketing Manager” in the job title field, and text is being typed into the description with a mouse cursor hovering over the button “AI Writer”.

5M Job Seekers Use This Time Saving Resume Tool 


A great resume can change your life.

Kickresume uses artificial intelligence to help you write one.

GPT-4 is an AI language model so advanced, it was at first considered too dangerous to release. Now, you can use it to craft your resume.

  • All you have to do is enter your job title, click “Use AI Writer” and the AI will generate a number of bullet points for your work experience subsection.
  • If you don’t like these bullet points, you can either edit them or delete them and click the button again.
  • If you like the bullet points but feel like that section is still too short, simply click the button again and the AI will add more phrases to it.

Try it free and create your resume in seconds with Kickresume.


Be Specific


In today’s competitive market, success hinges on precision.

Instead of aiming broadly for “red,” pinpoint “crimson.”

Instead of simply seeking a “yellow” role, focus on “xanthic” opportunities.

The clearer you are about your goals, the more focused your efforts will be.

This precision will fuel your motivation and guide your leadership journey.

TA reader Kristine S., a freelancer (podcast content creator) for hire.


Kristine S., Freelance – Podcast Content Creator for Hire


⭐️ Let’s learn from each other! Share your best career advice with our community here.


Stuff We’re Loving This Week


😌 Meco is a distraction-free space for reading and discovering newsletters, separate from the inbox. Add your newsletters in seconds and liberate your inbox today!

⚙️ Zapier lets you automate tasks and streamline your workflow effortlessly.

📚 Influence by Robert Cialdini is your go-to guide for mastering the psychology behind why people say yes.

💆 Get a spa-like facial at home with the NanoSteamer, your ultimate skin-care tool.


Person sitting in a cozy room, wearing a green sweater, with a play button overlay on the video thumbnail, indicating a video about to start.


🚨 Job Alerts



Before you go…


Answer to the riddle.

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