Zero Inbox Strategy
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A study by the Mckinsey Global Institute has shown that an average worker spends an estimated od 28% of the work-week managing emails. This means we spend nearly two business days reading and responding to various emails.
And this definitely doesn’t come as a shock these days when we are receiving more emails than ever before. According to Radicati’s Email Statistics Report, business professionals sent and received an average of 126 emails per day in 2017.
With so many emails passing through our inbox daily, it’s definitely hard to stay organized and productive. It’s important to tackle this problem on time because having fewer emails will definitely leave you with more time for the actual work. So, how do we handle this?
You’ve probably heard about the inbox zero strategy once or twice. Most people have, but rarely who actually decides to take the time and work on it. “I’ll do it tomorrow” leads to another day with a cluttered inbox full of unnecessary messages, causing the important emails to get lost in all that noise.
In reality, working on the zero inbox strategy won’t take too much of your time. It may feel like it the first day, but every other day will be a lot easier because you’ll have less clutter than what you had before you cleaned everything up.
What is Zero Inbox?
Zero inbox is an approach to email management aimed at keeping the inbox empty at all times.
When you think about it, the zero inbox strategy makes sense. Imagine closing your laptop at the end of the work day, and leaving the office knowing everything is well organized, you didn’t miss anything and you have the rest of the day off.
Strategy to Achieving Zero Inbox
Many people solely focus on categorizing their emails when it comes to email management and organization, but when it comes to the zero inbox approach, that’s not good enough.
If you have decided to achieve zero inbox, the first thing you should do it take the time, and focus on email organization.
A tip that we’ve found extra helpful is going from the bottom up. When you find yourself in your inbox, your oldest emails are at the bottom, and that’s the place you should start, and work your way up.
The first thing you should do is delete unnecessary emails. This may be one of the hardest things you have to do when it comes to achieving zero inbox, but it will help you tremendously.
Not only will it make space in your inbox, but also in your head. Think about that email, and if it is not extremely important, delete it. It’s only taking space in your inbox, meaninglessly floating around. And not only that. While it is in your inbox, you’ll constantly bump into it, and start thinking about it. Why bother if the task is done, and you have more important things to focus on now?
All of us get thousands of automated emails, and often, our important emails end up getting lost in all that clutter. So be sure to check your inbox every day, and delete those unnecessary automated emails.
While organizing your emails, you may find some emails which may need some action, but not from you. Ask yourself, are you the right person for that action? If not, delegate it to someone else who can take care of it. That’s how you’ll make sure the work gets done, and that you declutter your inbox. Win-win!
Can the email you’ve run into be answered in under two minutes? If so, take the time and answer it. After that, you’re free to delete the email or achieve it.
You are bound to organize some emails which require immediate action from you, and if they can be done quickly, why not do it right there and then? Finish it in under two minutes, send your response, and then archive or delete that mail.
In case the action requires takes a bit more time, feel free to put it in a folder named “Action Required” and be sure to finish it after you are done with email organization.
By doing all these steps, and achieving zero inbox, you’ll have more time to focus on some more important tasks, knowing you’ve finished every other task that was waiting for you.
Productivity is one of the most talked about topics, and it’s with a reason. Today, we have so many distractions from various sides, and we need to find the best ways to stay organized and productive. Inbox zero strategy is definitely a good way to start.