Inbox Zero Raising the Barr Weekly Memo: Issue No. 39

This week’s reflection point: We just received an urgent call from one of our clients concerned that her email is having a meltdown and is reloading and resending her 65,000 emails from her own archives. Although our team was able to resolve the issue rather quickly, I couldn’t help but wonder why would anyone maintain an archive of such a huge amount of emails. As a matter of fact, why not reduce our inbox down to zero? Hence the term inbox zero.

So before you tell me why this is not possible, let me suggest that not only is this possible but I highly recommend you do this. Reducing your email to zero will:

  • Save on wasted storage space.
  • Reduce the potential of technical glitches.
  • Save tremendous amounts of your valuable time.
  • Improve the quality of your life.

I acknowledge that to do this successfully requires discipline, consistency and a system. So here are some quick tips:

  • Make sure your anti-spam is the best you can use. It will eliminate 99% of the unwanted emails.
  • Unsubscribe from newsletters that do not present you with great value.
  • Ask individuals to stop sending you silly emails or copy you on unneeded ones.
  • When receiving emails:
    • Review quickly and discard immediately when possible.
    • Reply only if needed to prevent volleyball communication and discard email.
    • Place all date sensitive emails on your calendar and discard email.
    • Archive important sensitive documents such as contracts in your preferred client folder system such as Dropbox and Evernote.
  • And finally, remember to clear your sent folder and perhaps only keep a month or two in that folder.

I get over 125 emails each day. If I don’t stay on top of these emails and take action each day, they could easily accumulate quickly into the thousands, increasing my labor intensity and preventing me from taking care of business.

This week’s tip: Imagine your inbox containing just 1,000 emails. If you spent one minute to review each of these in your inbox, that would be equivalent to 16 hours of your time! Don’t let these emails take over your valuable time and your life.

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© Chad Barr 2013. All Rights Reserved.

0 thoughts on “Inbox Zero Raising the Barr Weekly Memo: Issue No. 39

  1. Phil,

    I am not sure if you are asking me to articulate further on what I said above or answer a different question. But this is what I would do with each email:
    1. Discard unwanted.
    2. Unsubscribe when applicable.
    3. Reply immediately and discard.
    4. Delegate when possible and discard.
    5. Schedule in your calendar and discard.
    6. Archive only important documents in your database and discard.
    7. Archive a few critical emails in an applicable email folder

    Is this what you are asking?


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