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Inbox Zero

For the first time in a long time, I have managed to achieve Inbox Zero. Both my work and personal email accounts have empty inboxes.

To be clear: Inbox Zero is not simply archiving or deleting every email from your inbox. It would be easy to move all emails into a separate "later" folder. This is not Inbox Zero. Inbox Zero is when you properly sort it. If the email an associated task, you must do it immediately or put into a task management system. That way you can relax and know that you won't forget about it.

In recent years I ended up using my inbox as a to-do list. There was always some message that I kept in the inbox for something that I needed to get back to. I never had a huge number of emails in there and would regularly have less than 10 emails. But achieving zero, a clean inbox kept eluding me.

The truth was that I didn't trust my systems. I had tried several different task managers or note taking systems. Evidently I never trusted them. This week I have tried again to get everything sorted and organised. I have been attacking my inboxes in scheduled bursts between longer stretches of deeper work. It took 3 days to get there and it feels great. I forgot how nice and liberating it was to feel truly in control.

The next challenge is to see how long I can maintain this state.

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