control with a single sentence.

A blank memo. An empty deck. Everyone knows the hardest thing to do sometimes is just get started. Nowhere is this more true than with an overflowing inbox. That’s why Barreto recommends a practice of depositing one sentence in a response to quickly regain control over the request and its owner.

“Duhigg talks about responding to invitations to meetings he doesn’t want to attend. He began starting those responses with ‘I can only make it for 15 minutes,’” says Barreto. “Immediately, he puts himself back in control.” Sure, he’ll ultimately flesh out or explain his response. But he’ll have a foothold to push off from. The page will no longer be blank, and moving through his inbox will feel less onerous.”

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