Flipping Heck! Learning To Be Productive One Day At A Time

An Intro To Inbox Zero: The Ultimate Guide to Managing Your Email

An Intro To Inbox Zero: The Ultimate Guide to Managing Your Email

An Intro To Inbox Zero: The Ultimate Guide to Managing Your Email

Editor’s Note: I asked Mark Lavercombe, also known as the Productive Physician to write an introduction to his fantastic guide to Inbox Zero. If you’re looking to manage your email more efficiently you can’t go wrong with reading Mark’s great article.

The statistics tell the story.

We send and receive 269 billion emails. Every. Single. Day.

This number is projected to increase at an annual rate of 4.4%.

Another study showed that 18% of us check our email while driving and 42% while in the bathroom!

Has email taken over your life? How does it feel to check your email inbox? Do you dread it a little?

You can restore sanity to your experience of email. Inbox Zero: The Ultimate Guide to Managing Your Email is my attempt to help you take back control.

Inbox Zero?

Merlin Mann defined the term, and it’s become a catch cry among tech savvy productivity enthusiasts. Although it has its detractors, Mann’s philosophy remains popular.

I don’t advocate that you must have zero emails in your inbox. And I certainly don’t recommend that you feel guilt or shame if you do. That would be counter-productive.

My recommendation is that you apply a system, a structure for your email processing like you would in many other areas of your professional and personal life.

If you receive physical mail, for example, would you look at it and then leave it sitting in your letterbox? No, you take out the mail, decide what it means to you, throw out the rubbish and then action and archive the important material as required.

Email is no different.

Would you feel stressed by looking at a mountain of physical mail overflowing from your letterbox, spilling onto the path around and getting in everyone’s way? I know that I would.

Email is no different.

The 7 Steps to a healthier inbox

My Ultimate Guide to Managing Your Email details seven steps that you can take to help wrestle back control of your time from email.

There are four steps that you do once (and repeat occasionally) that will repay your time investment many times over. These steps walk you through deleting and unsubscribing, consolidating your inboxes, automating responses and delegating to an assistant. I am grateful for the input of Christina Holzhauser from Tips For Assistants whose insight is fabulous.

The daily effort comes in steps five and six which discuss email processing and working well with others.

Finally, in Step 7 you close your email and get on with more important work!

I’ve spent months thinking and reading about this topic. This guide is the culmination of that work. I hope you find it helpful.

I’d love your feedback either here or at my site.

About The Author
Mark is a Respiratory & Sleep Medicine Physician practising in Melbourne, Australia. After reading "Getting Things Done" he did what all good productivity geeks do: wrote his own personal to-do manager, hosted it on his home server and used it for several years to manage all of his capturing, contexts and priorities.
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1 Comment

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    Thanks for the chance to let your audience know about my post and my approach to email, Katy!

    I’m happy to be featured on such a great site. Open to any queries if they come up 🙂

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