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The reading pane is your productivity enemy!

Here's the real question you need to answer. Do you use the Reading Pane in Outlook because you choose to? Or do you use it because when you first opened Outlook it was on by default?

The Reading Pane is designed to let you can go through email quickly and take action. The reality is, most people skim email and take no action and leave the email in their Inbox for later. Did you know that every time you skim an email you spend at least a minute doing that? And every time you go back you spend another minute skimming. Then once you decide to respond you actually have to read the full email.

Every time you skim an email versus taking purposeful action you are losing minutes and those minutes add up!

Image that you do this 6 times a day. That’s anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes of your time. Stretch this behaviour over a 5-day work week and we’re talking over an hour of time with nothing to show for it.

If you can limit this behaviour, you can get you back an hour or more a week. Imagine what you could do with an extra hour every week!

So how can we regain that hour or more back? Brace for it! We're going to close the Reading Pane and quit cold turkey. Here's how you do it:

  1. Go to your Outlook Ribbon

  2. Click on the View tab

  3. Find the Layout section

  4. Click on the Reading Pane button

  5. Click Off in the menu


Take this moment to relish in the fact that you are now make a purposeful decision on which email to action. You double-click on the email of choice and it comes front and centre with all its controls. Make it full-screen and now you're all in on that one email.


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