Start your morning with this affirmation:
Today’s checklist: Swipe work-life balance habits that work, learn how to use Excel’s IF function, marry philosophy with your work life, and download some apps to beat your time-change doldrums.
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YOU DO YOU
Habits of People Who’ve Achieved Work-Life Balance
1. They set boundaries.
In the words of Hillary Clinton: “Don’t confuse having a career with having a life.” Your career is merely part of your life, a part that at times may try to take over. Solid boundaries help keep it in check.
2. They set limits.
People with strong-work life balance understand their work will multiply as much as they let it. They establish rules and limits to cap the potentially neverending flow of work. Different structures work for different people with different priorities and include metrics such as hours, days, assignments, or even dollars earned.
3. They treat family dinner as a sacred ritual.
Even the busiest leaders can make time for non-work priorities with consistency and unwavering commitment.
4. They know how much they actually work.
They don’t use how they feel as a gauge for whether they’re working too much. They use project management or time-tracking software to get the actual numbers.
5. They block off time for prioritization and reflection.
They take a step back and check-in on their time expenditures, evaluating habits and changing what doesn’t work.
6. They let things go.
They make decisions on time expenditure that align with the credo beloved by KonMari enthusiasts: “Keep only those things that speak to the heart, and discard items that no longer spark joy.”
7. They enlist help in sticking to their work-life balance goals.
One person told Buzzfeed she lets her loved ones use a “safe word” when she’s being sucked into a workaholic vortex.
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IF Function 101
Using “if” ultimatums with your toddler accomplishes nothing.
Using the IF function in Excel accomplishes many things, most importantly, adding a healthy dose of data-based logic to your decisions. Enter data to represent multiple possible scenarios, and then use the IF function to compare projected outcomes.
For example, if you’re trying to select a vendor from a huge list of options, you might use an IF function (=IF(CELL>1000, “overbudget”) to quickly make your first round of budgetary eliminations.
Using IF functions can be a little intimidating, especially the first time you do it and most especially if things don’t work exactly the way you thought they would.
Wouldn’t it be nice if you had a close friend or colleague nearby to explain the ins and outs?
The videos and articles below get you as close to that dream scenario as possible:
Watch How to Use the Excel IF Function on YouTube to learn how to run a basic IF scenario.
Watch Excel IF Formula: Simple to Advanced (multiple criteria, nested IF, AND, OR functions) on Youtube to learn how to construct detailed functions and even combine them with other functions.
Watch Nested IF function on Microsoft’s Support page to learn how to run IF functions within IF functions.
Watch IF Function in Excel Tutorial on Youtube to run through a series of logical comparisons.
Watch 15 IF Statement Examples in Excel on Youtube to learn how to use many different IF statements for a variety of purposes.
Want more detail or some tips that are a little more readable? We got you.
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Know How Much You Work
If you skipped our above section on habits, pause here, read the section, and pay attention to habit #4. We’ll wait…
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Plato in the Office
Philosophers examine the human condition and isolate insights with the potential to inspire transcendence and growth. Can their core assertion be directed toward the human working condition? Let’s find out!
Aristotle: “Anything that we have to learn to do, we learn by the actual doing of it.”
- Modern office translation: Finishing or even just starting a project you don’t know how to do is the best way to change that.
Lao Tzu: “To know that you do not know is the best. To pretend to know when you do not know is the disease.”
- Modern office translation: You will look and work smarter when you ask all the questions you need to.
Mencius: “He who exerts his mind to the utmost knows his nature.”
- Modern office translation: Deeply engaging in your work can be a meditation on your priorities.
Jorge J. E. Gracia: “I favor inclusiveness because it allows the consideration of a wide field of experience and a great diversity of views that challenge our own cultural, ethnic, national, and racial limitations, opening the doors to a greater understanding of humanity and the challenges we face.”
- Modern office translation: Treat inclusion as a way of life, not as a rote initiative or process.
Plato: “The only real ill-doing is the deprivation of knowledge.”
- Modern office translation: Be transparent in your processes and know-how to empower those around you.
Hegel: “Nothing great has been and nothing great can be accomplished without passion.”
- Modern office translation: Find the aspect of any project that excites you and lean into it.
Seize the Time
Daylight saving time returned on March 13 to “move time” forward an entire hour. This seemingly tiny shift can disrupt life for some people, causing sleep loss, plummeting moods, and even sluggish reflexes.
But time isn’t the only thing that can pull a switch every now and then. The apps below empower people to switch their behaviors and habits to make best use of this nebulous thing called time.
If you want to pinpoint your best time to sleep…
…then try Sleepscore, an app that leverages your smartphone’s microphone to track your quality of sleep and deliver recommendations that go above and beyond your best times to go to bed and wake up.
Because the recommendations are based on your current sleep patterns, they’ll adjust as you navigate time changes or time zones.
If you want to pinpoint your best time to eat…
…then try the Ate, an app that makes it fun and easy to track when and what you eat. Review your meal log to see patterns and make connections between your eating habits and how you feel.
If you want to pinpoint your best time to work out…
…then try Fitbod, an app you can use to log your workouts and progress over time. Review patterns for the times and days you have your best workouts and even receive customized workout recommendations based on what you log.
If you want to pinpoint your best time to get stuff done…
…then try Motion, an app that helps you make the most optimal, logical decisions about your schedule. Data-based and deeply pragmatic, the app removes the emotion-laden human thoughts that stop many of us from organizing our time well. It integrates your task list and schedules and moves tasks around to streamline your workflow.
In Case You Missed It…
Office Otter is the free automated to-do list you didn’t know you needed (until now).
Uber for Business makes it easier than ever to impress clients or team members with meal and ride vouchers (plus, you only get charged for what actually gets used).
Cabinet is the platform for everything executive assistants and admins need to streamline and modernize administrative operations.
Sock Fancy makes corporate gifting a breeze with their premium branded swag. Get free samples by contacting their team and letting them know we sent you.
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The Assist Store — Weekly Drop
We’re so excited to announce The Assist store! We’ll be adding more products to our store on a regular basis, so we highly suggest bookmarking it. As always, your feedback is always welcome!
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Craving more content? Here are some recs to tie you over until then.
- Work anniversary memes…because, why not?
- Peer to peer recognition is crucial for a thriving work culture.
- Need a Welcome Kit for your new employees? Here are some ideas.
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