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Thank Goodness I Gave Up On “Inbox Zero”

inbox zeroA while back I announced with great pride and expectation that I was now aiming at “Inbox Zero.” You know, the scheme that insists we empty our email boxes by end of business every day.

Inbox Zero hasn’t worked for me. Not even close!

And the problem isn’t in just my desktop email, but in my gmail account and in an account I use with another firm I work with. Every now and again I spend an hour or so both deleting emails by the ton, and unsubscribing from the unread newsletters I tend to accumulate. I feel virtuous for about 10 seconds, then go back to whatever I was avoiding.

Rescued from Inbox Zero

This morning I my email carried the notification that one of my all-time favorite Medium author, Kris Gage, had written something called What the hell is the deal with “inbox zero?”

The reason Kris Gage has become such a favorite writer of mine is because she writes soulfully and lucidly about Big R Relationships. Yes, her essays on love flat turn me on. She knows, as I now do, how much of a choice love really is and says so in a wide variety of mostly delightful ways.

Obviously, she’s not stuck on writing about love. If she were I’d never have had to opportunity to read her views on Inbox Zero. Who knew?

If you’ve been tempted to reach for Inbox Zero or have, like me, failed at it, take a moment and read her article.

It’s it’s the links!

Although Kris does give some hints about what to do with an overflowing inbox, she also generously shares some links. Some are to instructions about how to get to Inbox Zero (from some prestigious magazines considering what we’re dealing with here).

Fortunately for me she also linked to Inc’s  Why ‘Inbox Zero’ Is a Stupid Time Management Approach wherein author Geoffrey James Contributing editor, Inc.com among other things states:

After years of practice, I reflexively follow the Robbins method and don’t give unimportant emails control over even a tiny fraction of my mental energy. Right now, I have 8,560 unread email messages in my iPhone inbox and 22,239 unread messages in my Outlook inbox.

James has now officially also become one of my favorite author. I mean I truly laughed out loud when I read this because it sounds much more like me than any of the other stuff. He knows what to take seriously and what not to worry about. (Wonder if he writes about Big R Relationships, or is perhaps single himself? Naw, he’s interesting and probably intelligent enough but he’s also way younger than me and I already know that doesn’t work ’cause I’ve tried it. Sigh.)

Whew, I’m taking myself officially off this particular hook, and it feels great. Thank you Kris and Geoffrey!

What about you? Is Inbox Zero a thing for you?

Write well and often,

Anne Wayman, freelance writer

“Inbox Triage With Gmail” by Frederick Md Publicity is licensed under CC BY 2.0

{ 6 comments… add one }
  • I’ve been working so hard to organize my emails recently, i’m constantly playing catch up!

    I never seem to get past the 200 unread email mark haha
    Nick recently posted..How To Use Feedback GeniusMy Profile

  • AMEN. I could not possibly care less about nothing in my in box. I agree — it’s a massive waste of time and puts your energies into the mundane.

    Wouldn’t it just be better to create rules so that the garbage goes into an Other folder and the actual work shows up in the main one? Sheesh. It’s the committee-led approach to anything; it’s complicated far more than it needs to be!
    Lori Widmer recently posted..3 Steps to Finding Better Freelance ClientsMy Profile

    • Lori, one reason I don’t filter much is because I simply don’t remember to look. Not efficient, but it’s been working for me for a long time.

  • haha and I thought I was the only one suffering from 53,000 unread message :p

    • Yean, Onam, I thought I was the only one two… until I read the Inc. article.

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