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Personal Productivity Secrets: Do what you never thought possible with your time and attention... and regain control of your life by Maura Nevel Thomas

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It’s 6:30 a.m. and Ava Bradley’s alarm went off 30 minutes ago, but she fell back to sleep. Now she’s going to be late getting her 12-year-old daughter, Emma, up and out the door for school. It also means that she missed the workout she scheduled in her calendar. “Maybe,” she thinks, “I can get in a yoga class after work.” Ava is a successful insurance agent, in the business for 15 years, with a small office of her own. She has another agent in her office, younger and less experienced, and a part-time office manager.

Ava’s husband, Ben, is a partner in a small law firm, and he’s arriving back home from his run. The Bradleys live just outside of downtown Seattle. As Ben enters the bedroom, Ava asks him to wake Emma and then jumps in the shower—and the usual morning chaos in the Bradley home begins.

Forty-five minutes later, Ava is heading downstairs with her smartphone in her hand, consulting the day’s calendar and scanning through emails. She is dressed and almost ready to leave. She finds Emma sitting at the table eating a bowl of cereal with her history book and her laptop open in front of her. Ben is pouring coffee in his travel mug, ready to dash out the door. His smartphone sits on the counter with his email open. “Emma, didn’t you tell me you finished your homework last night?” asks Ava.

“I did, but Lisa texted me this morning that she heard there might be a surprise quiz today. I found a summary of the chapter on Google, so I just need to pull it off the ...

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