OG Tuesday Issue #98

The Assist Newsletter
August 9, 2022
Start your morning with this affirmation:
Today’s checklist: Laugh it off, break down your stress, go from “temp” to “timeless,” and process inquisitive feedback.


Be prepared to…LOL


It’s true that you can’t possibly anticipate everything. But it’s also true that you can set yourself up to more easily deal with everything by strengthening a core life skill (that also happens to be really fun to practice): Your sense of humor.

Linked with overall resilience, humor relieves stress and makes it easier to process and cope with unpleasant surprises and total disasters. Studies have demonstrated this effect in groups facing mountains of stress, such as combat veterans, medical students, and emergency personnel.

How you can harness humor’s soothing effects:

Feeling uncomfortable emotions? Reduce their power by turning them into jokes. Better yet, share the jokes with your group or community. This cleansing act breaks down unhealthy internalizing, aids in processing, and creates feelings of support and camaraderie in your group.

  • Not with a group? Turn your troubles into a humorous meme or GIF for sharing or just for enjoying yourself. (The benefits come in the creative process.)

Finding yourself in the midst of a massive mess or chaos spiral? Flex your thinking to:

  1. Find the humor in the situation.
  2. Find the positives in the situation.

Some studies demonstrate a correlation between finding humor and cultivating overall positivity, suggesting they may involve the same mental muscles.

Having a hard time turning your problems into punchlines? No sweat. Just consume some humor to reap the same de-stressing benefits.


Build More Transparency at Work


Bonusly's Webinar: Expert Advice for Building a More Transparent Workplace

A study by Slack found that 80% of today’s workers want insights into how decisions are made at their organization, and 87% of today’s job seekers want transparency in their future workplace.

Register for Bonusly’s free webinar for these takeaways: 

  • The importance of defaulting to transparency and how it benefits not only your employees but your business as well
  • A better understanding of the pillars of transparency and how to implement them in your organization
  • How defaulting to transparency can help you nail tough conversations with your employees

Register free today


8/9 = International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples


The United Nations International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples celebrates and preserves traditional ancestral knowledge.

Here’s how you can participate:


Streamline Your Work With Templates


monday.com templates
We’ve compared monday.com to the Swiss army knife of project management softwares — and they’ve taken it up a notch by launching industry specific templates.

Here are some of our fave templates that you can use today (for free):

For HR & Recruiting:

For EAs/Admins/Operations:

For Marketing:

See More Templates


A is for: Shrinking Your Stress


Avoid, alter, adapt, or accept: What experts call the 4 As of stress management. Remembering these simple options can help you reduce a massive, catastrophic, insurmountable Mother of all Problems into something you know exactly how to manage with confidence.

Here’s how to unleash the As on your next big problem:

Step 1: Encounter a problem, any problem that makes you feel a little stressed

Step 2: Skip the increased pulse, back tension, and stress sweats. (None of those things are helpful.) Address the stressor head on by envisioning or writing your options for dealing with it, a.k.a. the 4 As.

Step 3: Set a timer for 5-10 minutes. This is how long you have to decide which of the As to use on your current stressor.

Step 4: Proceed accordingly.

Here’s an example: 

You get to the office a little bit later than usual and find two different urgent (please-do-ASAP) requests from two different people. 

You sit down and think through your options: 

  • Avoid? You could unplug your computer and bounce out to grab a latte, but the problem will be waiting for you when you return, getting bigger with each minute of avoidance.
  • Alter? You could alter your situation, by delegating one of the last-minute tasks or telling one of the requesters that A) You can’t take it on; or B) You can take it on, but you cannot meet their urgent time demands.
  • Adapt? You could alter your standards, committing to getting each task done in 30 minutes and potentially sacrificing quality. Done is better than perfect in many cases, after all.
  • Accept? You could not do either request, and accept the consequences.

You decide the wisest option is to Alter your situation. You proceed with the calm certainty of a person with a plan and a mission—a person with no time to waste on stress.


How to Handle Questions Disguised as Feedback


Last week, you shared a glorious website mockup with some leaders in your company, requesting their feedback. You’ve been eagerly awaiting a response; you need their wisdom and clarification so you can start building this thing.

You hear the sweet, sweet chime of a new email, lunge at your computer, and open the message to find a list, a tome, of feedback in the form of questions. You feel lost, confused, and disappointed.

Now what? 

You process allll the questions using this checklist: 

Don’t panic. Give yourself permission to simply read through the questions at least twice, without acting on them or stressing about them. This will set you up to process them with a level head.

Answer all the questions you can. If they require follow ups, complete those and get them out of the way.

Ensure you understand each question. If you don’t, write down your clarifying questions, but set them aside for now.

Separate the questions into two groups: 

  1. Questions I actually have to answer
  2. Questions I just have to think about. (Reviewers may present feedback in the form of a question to avoid dictating and to inspire you to arrive at your own solutions. In this case, the only answer they expect comes in the form of seeing how you solve the issue.)

Pinpoint the underlying need beneath each legitimate question. Considering where the questioner is trying to get may be more helpful than understanding precisely what they mean.

Determine the best way to answer each question. For example, should this question be addressed by deliberating as a group, can it be resolved with a little independent research, or does it require bringing in a third-party expert?

Set up a meeting to address all the questions as a group. You might feel pressured to own all the questions, but they belong to you and your collaborators and should be addressed as such. During this meeting, you can ask all the clarifying questions you wrote down earlier. Remember! The goal of this meeting is to determine next steps for each question, to get closer to and not further away from certainty. Be prepared to wrangle meandering conversations and stay on topic.

Bonus Tip: Moving forward, frame your requests for feedback in the form of almost painfully specific questions. That way, with hope, you’ll actually get more answers and fewer additional questions.


Take Your Temp Role to Full-Time


Longing to turn your temp job into something with more commitment, mutual joy, and long-term stability? Here are lessons you can swipe from an art student and a proposal specialist who did exactly that.
  •  Make it painfully clear how much you care. (Now’s not the time to be cool.)
  • Turn yourself into a skill sponge. “I gained some really valuable skills, pretty soon after I first started I was largely running all the UAL social media accounts,” says art student Daniele, “so it was quite a lot of responsibility – especially for a nearly graduated temp!”
  • Put every skill you sponge up to good use.
  • Aim to understand and fulfill the expectations your employer has for the full-time role. “I knew what to expect of the role and felt confident that I could do the work when I applied for the permanent position; and my employers knew that I was very capable of doing the role when they hired me,” says Daniele.
  • Show your managers and your teammates they can trust you.
  • Get to know people and let them get to know you. “I became more than the temp,” says proposal specialist Katelyn. “I had a name—and people used it. Over time, my co-workers even got to know me – my likes, dislikes, hobbies, and knack for throwing out odd historical facts stored somewhere in the back of my brain. This was a pleasant surprise!”
  • Discover and appreciate the deeper meaning in your role.


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Riddle me this: You walk into a room that contains a match, a kerosene lamp, a candle, and a fireplace. What would you light first?

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