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More Insights on Taming Your Tools

In this new era of technological invention, questioning how we work—and what tools we use—is an essential part of the creative process.


Technology should be a tool, but if we do not keep our wits about us, it can easily become our taskmaster. As WIRED magazine co-founder Kevin Kelly has written, “Every new technology will bite back. The more powerfulits gifts, the more powerfully it can be abused.”

Rather than demonizing new technologies unnecessarily or championing them blindly, we must begin to develop a subtler sensibility. We must ask hard questions like: Why are we driven to use our tools so compulsively? What would it mean to approach email and social media mindfully? How does being tethered to our devices impact our physical bodies—and even our imaginations?To help you break out of an obsessive relationship with your phone, email, or computer, we’ve collected our favorite tips on taming your tools.

What Happened to Downtime? The Extinction of Deep Thinking & Sacred Space

We’re addicted to distraction, and it’s holding us back. To find genius in the 21st century, we must build a discipline of unplugging and deep thinking.

Stop the Insanity: How To Crush Communication Overload

Are you constantly playing catch-up with a million different messages? It’s time to take back control of our communications. Here’s how.

How I Gave up Email and Reclaimed 3 Hours a Day

Leave your e-mail inbox behind by moving your communication to collaborative tools and social media.

On Keeping Your Tools Simple

You can’t have productivity without simplicity. Tips on reducing brain clutter so you can focus on the work that really matters.

How To Control Your “Check-In” Addiction

Do you find yourself constantly checking your mobile device with no real actionable outcome? Quick tips on increasing your efficiency and peace of mind.

Op-Ed: Accepting Less to Have More

“Emails, chats, texts, games, pads, pods, and clouds have become a leash jerking us out of our quiet time.” Designer James Victore on getting back on the right path.

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Learn more about creating great work every single day in our new 99U book: Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind.

Jocelyn K. Glei

A writer and the founding editor of 99U, Jocelyn K. Glei is obsessed with how to make great creative work in the Age of Distraction. Her latest book is Unsubscribe: How to Kill Email Anxiety, Avoid Distraction, and Get Real Work Done. Her previous works include the 99U’s own bestselling book series: Manage Your Day-to-Day, Maximize Your Potential, and Make Your Mark. Follow her @jkglei.

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