January 22

How To Get To Inbox Zero But Bravery Is Required So That You Can Blog More


I want you to blog more.

I want to blog more.

For some bloggers the blank screen is there problem. For other bloggers, distractions are there problem.

No matter what kind of blogger you are, there is one universal problem.

Too many damn emails.

‚ÄčToday, I am asking YOU to be brave

You may think that I am nuts here and well, you may just be on to something but....

Follow my little hack here and create more mental space so that the words can get to that blog of yours.

Have you heard about the theory of Inbox Zero?

If not, it goes something like this: If you get to inbox zero every single day, your life will magically be better!

Ok that may be a slight exaggeration of the inbox zero claims but that is my perception of the conversations.

What is inbox zero?

It is when you end your day with no emails in your inbox.

This is a hot topic and you can find plenty about it online. No matter how euphoric of an experience it may be, for me it is just not realistic.

I ran across an article from Paperitis.com that explains perfectly why this is unreasonable in my world:

Our 3 primary reasons for not using Inbox Zero are:

1. You waste time each day dealing with things that aren't the best use of your time just to clear out your inbox.

2. You are letting other people dictate your agenda.

3. If you get as much email as we do, some of it is truly not worth dealing with. ;-)

Source: http://www.paperitis.com/productivity/is-inbox-zero-right-for-you.html

Regardless of why or how I feel about email, the amount that I receive in a day does stress me out. This is why I decided to spend a short bit of time thinking about the issue. Around the same time, a friend of mine found a hack that I will share with you here.

My first response to email overwhelm was to get angry but the truth is, I did it to myself. I sign up for newsletters on a regular basis. There are some amazing folks out there that I actually want to hear from.

This is not bad. It is not evil.

However, I can't always read all of them. They are not always relevant to what I am doing at the time. But I do like having the freedom to skim them and make that decision.

My inbox zero hack is drastic and it does have fairly significant risks but it is working well for me so far.

I use Microsoft Outlook on a Mac

All of my email is now kicked to spam unless it is from someone who is in my address book.

This is not a reduction in the amount of received emails but rather a reverse of the process. Now, I scan my junk folder and decide what should be in my inbox.

First thing each morning (or when I get to it), I check my email, I first scan my inbox. Did I get any email from someone on my "approved list?" If I did, I read those emails.

Second, I flip over to my Junk folder and scan for any important emails. There are three possible outcomes here:

  1. There are no emails that deserve to be flipped to my inbox.
  2. I got an email from someone that is a VIP in my world and they need to be added to my address book.
  3. I got an email that interests me but not ready to get the emails in my inbox on a regular basis from them.

How did I set this up?

  1. Open Outlook.
  2. Click on junk
  3. Click on junk E-mail protection
  4. Click on exclusive
  5. Click ok

How to add someone to contacts?

  1. Right click on senders name
  2. Highlight mouse over Sender
  3. Select "Add to Contacts"
  4. Click "Save & Close"

Note: This does not automatically move any already received emails to your inbox. This means that you should search for other emails by this sender, to make sure that you didn't miss something important.

In the end, this is just me playing a Jedi Mind Trick on myself but it is working. I feel less stressed out by email. It feels like I am controlling my email instead of it controlling me.

How do you handle your email? Please share your email tricks, I seriously want to hear them.


email management, inbox zero

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