Tip 11: Forget “Inbox Zero”

by Annie

in Fall Into Productivity

Image of a pumpkin and a leaf on a wooden surface with a text overlay reading "#11 - forget about inbox zero"

This is a post in Pajama Productivity’s first (hopefully) annual “Fall Into Productivity” month. (Clever wordplay, right? The llamas came up with that.) All month long in October 2016, we’ll be publishing lovely autumnal graphics with a fresh productivity tip each and every day. You can catch all the fall fun right here on the PJP blog, on our PJP Facebook page, or on Twitter @pjproductivity – use the #FallIntoProductivity hashtag to find all posts.

Why the inbox-zero hate?

Well, I’ll tell ya…or rather, I’ll let Alyssa Gregory tell ya (emphasis mine):

The nature of email – instantaneous communication instigated by others that we typically can’t anticipate – means that it will never stop.

You can make a hundred rules and filters to sort, move and delete messages as they hit your inbox, but you will never catch everything. You will never be able to maintain an empty inbox unless you route all incoming messages to a folder other than your inbox. And then you’re just moving, splitting up and scattering the mess to give yourself a fake sense of security, a mock control over your email.

Inbox zero is a myth; focusing on achieving it is a waste of time.


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