I have noticed an interesting change in my attitude about Inbox Zero – basically, I’ve stopped trying to maintain it.
When I get home, my priorities are a workout, supper with Liz, we maybe watch some TV (only until 8pm on school nights), I wash the dishes, and I make our tea. A perfectly pleasant and comforting evening routine.
Then, I go up to my office and the first thing I do is write my blog post for the day or – if I’m really productive – for the next day. Some evenings I cycle through several ongoing drafts of posts in Evernote, adding or editing text (Mark Forster’s continuous revision process), before settling on something I like well enough to finish.
By the time I’ve published the post, it’s 10 or 10:30 p.m. and I need to get ready for bed.
I will scan the inbox for anything time-sensitive. But by and large, I let most emails wait till I schedule time to deal with them, which may be later in the week or the weekend.
For now I’m content to let my bigger desire (writing and posting daily) overshadow the smaller duty (empty inbox). We’ll see how it goes.
For further reading
- Merlin Mann’s Google Tech Talk that started the Inbox Zero wave. Merlin has since renounced much of his gung-ho productivity pr0n writing and thinking.
- Zero Dark Inbox | The New Yorker
- Why ‘Inbox Zero’ Is a Stupid Time Management Approach | Inc.com – why the pugnacious tone? Who are you getting mad at?
- To Inbox Zero or Not to Inbox Zero? surveys people who do the method a little, a lot, and not at all.