I get emails, but there’s nothing in my email inbox

Curious about Communication | Email Organization


On a whim last summer, I challenged myself to actually empty my email inbox.
It took me a few weeks.
It was pretty weird to see nothing in my inbox.  And pretty nifty too.
Then I tried to empty it every day.
Some days I can.
Most days, there’s still about 10-20 straggler emails.

From my interviews, the people who were able to empty their email inbox consistently had a few guidelines:
1)  short, concise emails
2)  delete or archive immediately after replying to the email
3)  reply immediately
4)  never touch anything more than once (from the Getting Things Done school of thought).

When you open the email, you decide to do one of the following:
a)  answer it
b)  delegate to someone else
c)  take action if need be
d)  file it away as reference
e)  delete it

I’ve been using a modified version of Getting Things Done.
It took some getting used to, but it’s been helpful in taming my email inbox.
It’s a good habit to form, like brushing your teeth every day.
Too bad there’s no email dentist to constantly remind you to clear the inbox every day.

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