Zero inbox life is possible. But, it takes organization, effort, and consistency.
Are you looking for a way to reduce the amount of time you spend on email? In this post, I am going to list 5 actionable steps you can take in order to reach that elusive mythical “Zero Inbox Life”.
The most important thing to remember is that it’s a process. You can’t just set up a system and expect it to work perfectly from day one. It will take some time to get used to, but once you do, boy does it make all the difference.
1. Create an Actionable Inbox
If your inbox is full of emails that are not actionable (or even ones that are), you will never get to zero inbox. Unsubscribe from newsletters and social media feeds that don’t provide value for you or your business. Delete any emails that aren’t important (such as notifications from apps). Delegate tasks and projects to other people in your company or team (if applicable) so they can handle them instead of you.
2. Create rules
Once you’ve organized your inbox, create rules for any automated messages coming in that need immediate attention, such as receipts from online purchases or updates from social media accounts.
For example, if you receive an email from Amazon about a recent purchase, you can create a rule that automatically adds it to a folder called “Amazon Receipts” so that it doesn’t clutter up your main inbox view and alerts you when new messages arrive without having to check each time.
3. Create a To-do Folder
Create a “To Review” folder for each account where you’ll put mail that requires action from you later on (this is where most people end up dumping their messages).
Or, leave emails that need to be answered or followed up on directly in the inbox. And make sure those are the only ones there so you can move them to the proper folder when it’s completed.
4. Schedule Time To Process Your Emails
It’s tempting to just open up your inbox and start checking emails right away, but this can cause stress and overwhelm if there are too many emails waiting for you at once. Instead, schedule 30 minutes each day when you know there will be no distractions so you can focus on processing your inbox.
This way, you won’t feel like it’s taking over your life and affecting productivity levels throughout the day because it won’t be constantly pulling at your attention while you’re working on other things
5. Move all emails from one folder to another folder (or archive)
You can move all emails from one folder to another folder by either using the ‘Bulk Move’ feature in Gmail or ‘Move to Folder’ feature in Outlook. This will help you declutter your inbox and organize your emails into folders according to their subject matter so that you can easily find what you are looking for later on if needed.
So close to Zero Inbox Life
You now have a system to follow. You know what works. Once you get started, you’ll immediately notice how much simpler (and faster) your online routine is. Pretty soon, getting to zero inbox will just be part of your normal routine. And, once that happens, life is bound to get a lot simpler.