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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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Chapter 12

Defending Your Attention Using Technology

In this chapter

  • Substitute behaviors that support rather than sabotage
  • Harnessing technology for control
  • Some step-by-step instructions

Managing email is a challenge for most busy professionals. In addition to applying the techniques from the last chapter, it’s helpful to ensure that you are making the most of the technology, or tools, available and using them in the most efficient way.

In Chapter 11, I address some techniques for managing email that are common, but actually ineffective, such as flagging, categorizing, or marking messages left in the inbox as unread. Processing those messages, as explained in the “Review, Process, Do” section of Chapter 11, eliminates the need for these unproductive habits and provides a more effective alternative for managing emails that require some action. This chapter addresses some other common but ineffective techniques, discusses some useful technology for staying in control of your communications, and provides more specific instructions for using the most popular email clients (Microsoft Outlook, Apple Mail, and Gmail) to support the efficient behaviors of the Empowered Productivity™ System.

Breaking Bad Habits

Setting up rules in your email client or program can sometimes reduce the number of messages waiting to be processed in your inbox. Also, because electronic storage is relatively inexpensive and takes up little physical space, many people have adopted the habit of keeping every ...

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