How to Acheive a Zero Inbox
Achieving a zero inbox isn’t that difficult if you have a system set up and are diligent in using that system.
Not too long ago my inbox was full of emails that I had to sort through. Every day I had to scroll through my inbox just to make sure I wasn’t missing anything that needed my attention. I had over 50+ emails staring me in the face every morning screaming at me, “Look at me, look at me, I’m important!” The stress of having that many emails in my inbox was driving me crazy. I had to do something if I was going to get my sanity back and stop wasting precious hours in my inbox. After researching ideas on how to achieve a zero inbox, I devised a system that works seamlessly and keeps me from spending hours sifting through emails.
Folders are wonderful things; they keep everything organized and out of your inbox. The system I use is simple. I have five folders set up labeled Monday-Friday. I put all emails that I need to address in one of those folders depending upon the day I need to respond by or act upon. So, on any given weekday, any email that needs my attention is in that day’s folder. For example, I read all newsletters or articles on Wednesdays, so when I receive an email that has reading material I put it in the Wednesday folder to read later. I have three rules for email, and if you follow them daily, your inbox can be email free, allowing you to destress and accomplish other tasks at hand.
Rule No 1. Only check your email three times a day.
I usually check my email first thing when I get into the office, after lunch, and right before I go home. At first, you might have anxiety not looking at your inbox every five or ten minutes, but trust me, if you check your inbox every three or four hours nothing is going to blow up or go unresolved.
Rule No 2. Don’t let emails sit in your inbox.
As soon as you see you have a new email decide what to do with it then. Either put it in one of the Monday-Friday folders to take care of later or handle it right then. This will keep your inbox clear, and you won’t be sifting through emails all day long. You will have a clear path to follow.
Rule No 3. Archive, Archive, Archive!
Any email that you don’t want to delete but want to keep for reference, you can archive. Archiving is a way to get email out of your inbox or folders without deleting them. You can always find them by doing a search in your email program if you must find that so important email.
By following these three rules of email, you will be on your way to a more productive and stress-free email life.
Tip: To keep your Monday-Friday folders in order label them, 1Monday, 2Tuesday, 3Wednesday, 4Thursday and 5Friday. This way they will show at the top of the list in chronological order.