IS EMAIL CLUTTER DRAGGINGYOU DOWN? Improve Productivity by Cleaning Up Your Inbox
1. Sweep away the junk. Begin by going through your emails from oldest to newest and deleting anything you know you won’t need. When you see an email you want to delete, search to find others from that sender — it’s likely there are multiple you can trash right away. 2. Categorize necessary messages. Create folders to organize the remaining emails. You might use a time-based system, like “First Quarter of 2020,” or descriptive names, like “Receipts” and “Current Projects.” Choose a system that works for your personal preferences. 3. Respond to urgent emails. Have unanswered emails that can’t be filed away? Use the two-minute rule: Immediately respond to anything that will take less than two
Do you cringe every time you open your email, preparing yourself for a barrage of unanswered messages? If so, then it’s time to take tidying up your inbox more seriously because poor organization results in far worse problems than simply missing out on happy hours with coworkers. According to psychology professor Susan Krauss Whitbourne, mental and physical clutter can impede productivity. It may also have long-term effects on our ability to process information. One University of Toronto researcher has even found evidence that mental clutter may worsen age- related memory loss. Since most people can cite their digital inbox as a source of stress, starting there is a big step toward organizing your mind and your life. Plus, you can declutter it in just one hour by following these steps. When a town owned by a massive company starts to suffer from a strange health condition, there’s a pretty good chance that the company is responsible. This was the suspicion in the early 18th century, when the children of Bauxite, Arkansas, began developing mysterious brown stains on their teeth. Bauxite was owned by the Aluminum Company of America (ALCOA), and citizens feared that aluminum in the water was causing the discoloration. Doctors, public health officials, and members of the media flocked to Bauxite, eager to get the scoop. Faced with a publicity crisis, ALCOA’s chief chemist, H. V. Churchill, ordered an assistant to run tests on samples of Bauxite’s water. The assistant came because with surprising results: Bauxite’s water had naturally high levels of fluoride. “Whoever heard of fluorides in water?” Churchill scoffed. He accused his assistant of contaminating the samples and ordered more
minutes to answer. For the ones that need more effort, put them on your to-do list and schedule a time on your calendar to respond. 4. Maintain a healthy email habit. Now that your inbox is in a manageable state, develop habits to keep it that way. Check your inbox when you get to work and follow the steps above. Once a week, set
aside a few minutes to sort through and organize anything you missed. The more time you devote to decluttering your email first thing, the more time you’ll have to accomplish bigger and more important goals.
‘WHOEVER HEARD OF FLUORIDES IN WATER?’
How an Aluminum Company Helped Fluoridate Drinking Water
tests. When the second test also came back with high levels of fluoride, Churchill began to rethink his opinion. This wasn’t the first time unexplained brown stains had appeared on people’s teeth. The phenomenon occurred in places as far away as Durango, Mexico, and Naples, Italy. In the United States, Colorado Springs, Colorado, and Oakley, Idaho also reported cases of the mysterious dental discoloration.
the course of his research, McKay noted that while the brown teeth looked unhealthy, they actually had more resistance to cavities. McKay was among those to visit Bauxite, and though he tested the water himself, he found nothing unusual. It wasn’t until the more sophisticated tests could be performed that the presence of fluoride was detected. discovery. McKay quickly sent Churchill water samples from Colorado Springs and Oakley and determined that both locations also had high levels of fluoride. Additional research determined that lower levels of fluoride could be added to drinking water, providing cavity- resistance without staining teeth. This would lead to Grand Rapids, Michigan, being the first town to have fluoride added to their water supply in 1945. All the while, the bigwigs at ALCOA breathed a sigh of relief. After hearing about McKay’s work, Churchill wrote to the dentist about the fluoride
A dentist named Dr. Frederick McKay spent 30 years trying to solve the mystery of the stains. In
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