All I Want for Christmas…Is an Empty Inbox

Country mailboxes

(Photo by Cynthia Price)

I’ve written previously about my inability to keep my inbox empty. Part of it is I receive about 100 emails a day. If I travel and miss a week, I’m behind 500 some emails. I didn’t even factor in the weekends, although the numbers do decrease.

Now before you think your email goes into a black hole, it doesn’t. I read every one.

The ones I can delete immediately, I do. The ones that require a simple answer, I immediately respond to.

My problem, it turns out, is that I use my inbox as a reminder list. I recently read a great post about email Zen by Leo Babauto.

He had the usual suggestions that I’ve read elsewhere and shared on this blog.

But the two suggestions that resonated with me included:

  1. If the email requires action, make a note of the action on your to-do lists.
  2. If you need to follow up on the email later, or are waiting for a response, note it on a Waiting For list.  I’ve actually found it easier to add it on my to-do list at the bottom under my FYIs.

I read the blog last weekend and have worked to implement the suggestions throughout this week. Since implementing these two tips, my inbox is down 150 emails!

I still have a ways to go but I’m confident, I just may get my Christmas wish!

PS If you like this post, please no emails. I’d love for you to write a comment on my blog instead.

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