CC-licensed photo by Tim Green.
I hit inbox zero on Tuesday for the first time in my work email. I suppose there was one other time, when we made a clean cutover from FirstClass to Gmail. (Why, oh why, do schools continue to cling to FirstClass to provide email and collaboration. Besides the fact that it’s so counter-inbox zero, it’s also just bad email. That never helps anything.) But that time doesn’t really count because I still continued to refer to it for a while.
The beginning to this school year was rough, and in December and through the holiday break, I found myself hovering at 275-odd unread emails. I’d gone through them to make sure that I wasn’t missing anything critical, but it was like an anchor hanging around my neck. I also have the habit of not deleting or archiving any messages; my thinking was that if I’m always able to search for something, why does it matter where it is? The unread messages would always be bold.
But it does matter. I had the most nerve-wracking moment when Gmail asked me if I wanted to archive the 22,000 conversations in my inbox. But after I did it, I felt like there was a way out, and an opportunity to think clearly about what I need to do next instead of focusing on my email.
This definitely helps meet my New Year’s resolution of be better. I do think this is a step towards that.