The day begins with a number. It might be 127 or 83 or, on a good day, 58. You can ignore it for a while, figuring it won’t look so daunting after you’ve had another cup of coffee, or gone for a run.
And yet…the inbox is always there. Waiting. And sooner or later it’s got to be dealt with.
I used to live that life: the life where my workday, my productivity and my self-worth (though I hate to admit it) were tied to my success in plowing through my email. A productive day meant getting to the elusive “Inbox Zero”—reading, responding to or filing everything—even if it then meant rushing my children into bed so I could catch up on actual work and meet my deadlines. A day where I delivered a great speech or won a new client could still feel like a defeat, if it ended with my inbox still overflowing.
Then, in 2009, I got to peak email—a point where I was sending more than a thousand messages a month. I decided I was through battling my inbox day after day. Email was dominating my life, and it was time to take it back.
Breaking free of email meant changing long-standing habits. Instead of seeing conventional messages as the simplest way to reach out to colleagues or swap important documents, I embraced new technologies that made getting in touch and collaborating more natural and less stressful. These new tools encourage you to reach out to the people you need only when you need to—eliminating pointlessly cc’ed notes—and they encourage informal messages that get right to the point and don’t represent a big time commitment.
Today, I send half of the emails I did back at my peak, and that decline hasn’t come at the cost of my productivity, professional relationships or capacity for collaboration. On the contrary, I am in closer, more productive contact with a wider range of colleagues. Once I knocked Inbox Zero off its perch as the top goal of each and every day, I was able to refocus on the tasks that are genuinely essential to professional success: writing killer reports; diving deep into data, which I can do only when I have a big chunk of uninterrupted time; and actually rehearsing my presentations, so I could rock the house.
Author:Rogers Healy Phone: 214-676-4270 Dated: March 24th 2016 Views: 615 About Rogers: Rogers Healy, a native Texan, has lived in Dallas for the majority of his life. Before moving to Dal...
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