February 04, 2009
What is your Inbox handicap?
No one that I know, except Raytheon's CEO, kills their Inbox everyday.
Try as you will, you still have several emails left in your Inbox every day. When you are traveling, it grows to more than a few.
Over the last year, I've been trying to kill my Inbox everyday. It is important to respond in a timely fashion, and when you get a massive amount of unanswered or unfiled email in your Inbox, it leads to stress and anxiety.
A year ago, my Inbox averaged at least 80 emails in it at any given time. Most of the read, some responded to and none filed or deleted. When it climbed above 100, I blocked out time to whack it back down to a manageable size. That was just crisis control, though, not a process.
Over the last few months, I've developed a new approach: Making it an area of excellence. I now have an email handicap (ala golf) that indicates the average number of emails sitting in my Inbox. The lower the number, the better I'm doing. Currently, I'd say my email handicap is 35. Not bad compared to last year but still I'm no Bill Swanson (his handicap is zero)
. By this April, I'll have it down to 20, which would be a real improvement over 2008!
I challenge you to think about your Inbox like this. Respond in comments with your email handicap, and later as you improve it, update your score.
If you'd like more tips on better email living, visit: EmailAtoZ