7 Reasons to Keep the Inbox Empty - Part 1

#1: An overloaded inbox causes stress

The inbox is often filled with a backlog of weeks or months of old work yet to be accomplished, messages that need a reply (including an apology for being so tardy), and irrelevant messages that have to be weeded out.

Even if none of the emails require any action, they are still ‘unfinished business’, which require filing or deleting at some point in the future, (either by you or the IT department).
This backlog of unfinished email creates a ‘psychological drag’ that slows down your mental clarity and focus. Many report feelings of being overwhelmed, guilty and ‘out-of-control’ - there’s often a nagging, subconscious sense you’re not keeping up with everything, that your work is never up-to-date, and that you’re constantly playing ‘catch up’.
How much email causes stress?

In a 2010 Harris Interactive survey, 94% of people said the most amount of e-mail they can receive before feeling some degree of stress is 50 messages. So, how many are sitting in your inbox right now?
By contrast, an empty inbox is a delight to look at - it makes you feel empowered, calm, in control and up-to-date. It improves your morale. You have time, energy and mental space for higher priorities, creative tasks and meaningful engagement with colleagues and clients.

It also forces you to start thinking about higher priority tasks and activities as you can no longer just keep yourself busy attending to the inbox.

If you'd like to get control of your inbox why not register for the upcoming webinar How to Get Your Inbox Empty by Christmas on 11 December?

If you're in Melbourne, bring your laptop along to the How to Get Your Inbox Empty by Christmas workshop on 16 December and leave with an empty inbox, organised folders and some useful rules and templates.

Next in this series looks at #2: Avoids multiple handling of e-mails. Get the full 7 Reasons to Keep the Inbox Empty article from the Resources webpage at any time.

All the best!

Steuart G. Snooks