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Scary Email Inbox? Need a Magic Wand to Tame To-Do Lists? What Halloween Costumes Say About Personal Productivity Style


Personal productivity expert Maura Thomas says although we crave magical super powers, the power of attention management can tame even the scariest email inbox and to-do list.

Austin, TX (PRWEB) October 25, 2012

Do today's workers need magic wands for their to-do lists and email inboxes? Productivity expert Maura Thomas, author of the book PERSONAL PRODUCTIVITY SECRETS (Wiley, ISBN: 978-1-1181-7967-3, May 2012), thinks adults may not-so-secretly wish for superpowers and skills to manage all the details of their busy lives.

“Witch” tops the list of most popular Halloween costumes for adults, according to the National Retail Federation's annual survey, joining zombie, ghost and vampire in the Top 10. Superheroes Batman and Superman also rank in the Top 10, along with a feminine fantasy figure, the princess.

“Halloween is great time to express our alter-egos,” Thomas quips. “Whenever I am speaking to groups of people about their productivity, they want to know how to manage the demands that come at us from every direction – from our phones, in our email, and on our computers. We don't need superpowers to defend our attention, fortunately. That's a skill we can all learn.”

Thomas offers these observations about the personal productivity and email habits of adults' costumed alter egos at Halloween:

The Witch – Whether a classic hook-toothed witch with a wart on the nose or a modern day wizard like Harry Potter or Hermione, a witch wants to wave a wand and be done with it all. The solution for a witch on email overload? “Set aside time for reviewing and processing email and make sure your ‘to do's' are captured on a list,” Thomas says. “When it comes to email, a lot of us get stuck in “skim and skip” mode. That creates stress because things start to pile up, and you know there are things you should be addressing.”

The Ghost – The ghost wants to disappear and ignore the messages piling up. “You may be haunted by all that's on your plate,” she adds. “Instead of feeling invisible, be empowered. Stop rattling your chains and feeding the chaos, and instead adopt or create a system that works for you. The Empowered Productivity System is my recommendation.”

Batman and Superman – These superheroes believe that they can conquer all. Their “just do it” and “save the world” personalities may mean that they are always in reactive mode, though, Thomas says. She continues, “If someone is constantly working on everybody else's crises and priorities, he or she may not be leaving themselves enough time to achieve what's important to them. Sometimes superheroes have to put themselves first before saving the world.”

Princess and Vixen – Everything's pretty on the surface, but on the inside she may have some doubts about how to accomplish what is most important to her. “Email may be in order and even labeled and color-coded, but she might be spending more time on busy work instead of making progress on what's really important,” says Thomas.

Attention management and focus are the most valuable productivity skills of the 21st century, according to Thomas.

“If I had to suggest a costume for the most productive people I know, I'd say Jedi Knight,” Thomas says. “That's a good example of how focus produces results.”

Published in May 2012, PERSONAL PRODUCTIVITY SECRETS draws on Thomas' 20 years of experience in the productivity training industry to share the most universally useful process for managing the details of a busy life. Thomas kicks to the curb the concept of “time management” and makes a powerful argument that when you control your attention, you control your life.

PERSONAL PRODUCTIVITY SECRETS: Do what you never thought possible with your time and attention…and regain control of your life (ISBN: 978-1-1181-7967-3, $29.99) is available in stores and online from Wiley in both print and all e-book formats.

About Maura Nevel Thomas and Regain Your
A 20-year veteran of personal productivity, Maura Nevel Thomas is founder and chief trainer of Regain Your and creator of the Empowered Productivity™ System, a process to manage the details of life and work. As a speaker and trainer, Maura teaches individuals, organizations and corporations how to maximize their communications tools, defend their attention and achieve their significant results. For more tips and to learn about Maura's approach to personal productivity and attention management, visit

Source, Most Popular Halloween Costumes of 2012

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