A personal goal since I first read of the concept is to one day achieve Inbox Zero across all my email accounts, rss feeds, mail pile, and paper inbox. I know. But just because I’ve let it get so bad, doesn’t mean it’s not possible.
Now that I could reward myself with a Nerd Merit Badge for successful completion of this as-so-far unattainable concept, I’m trying again.
In the past few weeks, I’ve made progress. Why had it gotten so bad? I’m the type of person that if I don’t see it, or that if I don’t see that I have to do it, chances are something else will grab my magpie attention and get done instead. To combat this “ooh shiney” problem, I did what I did years ago when my email was manageable. I added the task into my routine and my to-do list so I see that I have to do it. This has worked pretty well. I work on one different inbox each day.
I’ve set up a pile of new filters, I unsubscribed from a bunch of crud I’d not read in over A YEAR (and filtering for those messages and deleting them all cleared up a good 1,000 or so…. ). I’m just plugging away for five minutes at a time. Right now my most problematic inbox has only 912 messages in it. A week ago, it had around 3,000. I’m quite ruthless in applying a revised two minute rule to these emails. If I haven’t thought about them for two minutes in the past few months and don’t feel I’ve missed them, they’re gone. Not just filtered elsewhere for processing when I have time. Gone.
It feels great.