I’ve recently jumped on a productivity bandwagon called Inbox Zero in an attempt to a) get more things done, b) get the right things done, and c) make myself a little better to work with for the poor folk who have to put up with me. Inbox Zero is a concept created by Merlin Mann who writes the productivity website 43 Folders.
The idea of Inbox Zero is there are only a set number of things you can do with email:
1. You can respond
2. You can delegate
3. You can be reminded of something you need to do
4. You can delete it
It also advocates checking email intermittently, say once an hour. Those of us in service industries may have to check it a little more often, though in the great video below Merlin compares checking it too often to working in Subway and not actually making anything to eat (“Any sandwich orders? Yep good, good to see. How about now? Cool, more sandwiches, excellent…”). It goes for an hour, but he’s a funny and engaging speaker, after that you will be primed to make the switch.
I should add I’m a fan of the labyrinthine filing structure he suggests to avoid, something I am eschewing reluctantly. To see my virtual filing cabinet disappear and be replaced with a single folder called “Archive” makes me feel very uneasy. To whom much is given, much is tested…
**Update** I snagged the below image from a friend’s laptop, he keeps a piece of paper stick to it to remind him…