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Everything you thought you knew about inbox zero is wrong

Your Life is An Inbox

Inbox Zero can be correctly understood by realizing that it is not just your inbox but your life that you need to tackle.

The majority of information thrown at us is unimportant. Prioritizing your workload and understanding what is essential and what not is crucial to a stress-free life.

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Everything you thought you knew about inbox zero is wrong

Everything you thought you knew about inbox zero is wrong

https://www.wired.co.uk/article/inbox-zero-mentality

wired.co.uk

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Key Ideas

Inbox Zero

'Inbox Zero' was a productivity concept popularized a decade ago. 

E-mail was treated as a task to be completed all the time. It backfired as people started wasting even more time on email and the replies that piled up.

Your Life is An Inbox

Inbox Zero can be correctly understood by realizing that it is not just your inbox but your life that you need to tackle.

The majority of information thrown at us is unimportant. Prioritizing your workload and understanding what is essential and what not is crucial to a stress-free life.

Stop the Constant Emailing

It is important to narrow down your priorities and tackle the important and essential first.

Real work is not checking your email all the timeAllow blocks of time in a day to check your email and notifications.

Take a Break From Email

Like the pre-smartphone days, when people couldn't check their emails when they were on vacation, you have to switch off from email.

Switching off periodically will detoxify your mind.

No Non-Essential Emailing

Do not bombard your colleagues with reply-all emails. Not all information is essential or important to share.

We need to stop reacting to every email, and focus on the important ones.

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Problems With 'Inbox Zero'

The people who implemented the 'Inbox Zero; method ended up getting more emails as they were replying to all their emails, with increased activity.

They also paradoxically started checking the inbox more often.

The anxiety levels increased by applying hyper-productivity.

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Zen to Done (ZTD)

It's a productivity system that teaches how to take a simple approach to improving your productivity, by encouraging you to focus on forming one productivity-boosting habit at a time. 

The Minimalist Habits of Zen to Done
  • Collect: Get ideas and to-dos out of your brain and onto a list.
  • Process: Review your list daily and decide how to act on each item.
  • Plan: Pick a few high priority items to accomplish each week and every day.
  • Do: Schedule time to accomplish your selected to-dos without interruptions.
The Collect Habit

To clear your mind and improve focus, get your ideas and to-dos out of your mind and onto a list. 

Documenting to-dos in the moment lessens the likelihood that you'll forget to do something and gives you a master list of to-dos to reference when you're trying to decide where to direct your time.

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Adopt GTD Methodology in Email

think of every email you get as either something you need to take action on, track, or refer to later. 

Every time you open a conversation, decide right away what to do with it. D...

Create an Email Productivity System

There’s no “definitive” system. The best framework is the one that works for you. Ideally, it should model your work style, supporting the way you work. Bonus points if it’s low-maintenance, fast to set up, and adaptable as your work changes.

Some people like to use folders with specific actions (do, delegate, reply), while others prefer the deadline-driven approach (today, tomorrow, next week).

Power Up Your Email with Plugins

Some examples:

  • Undo Send: for when you accidentally press the send button.
  • Canned Responses: create a template that you can reuse with canned responses.
  • Send and Archive: Automatically archive an email after replying to it using the send and archive button.

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