Clearing Your Stuffed Inbox

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Success strategy:

If your inbox has several hundred emails in and you are struggling to keep on top of them, try this success strategy.

  • Work out how many emails you would need to delete to get rid of half of them.  Delete this number of emails on day one.  Go for the easiest ones first.
  • Repeat this strategy every day until you have a nice empty inbox.

This technique has helped me go from 178 emails in my inbox to less than 10 in just five days.  Some of those emails have been sitting there for months and now they are gone!

Why it works:

Tackling your inbox can sometimes feel like an overwhelming challenge.  Setting yourself specific and measurable goals, coupled with a deadline of when you will do them, increases the likelihood of succeeding.  By tacking the easiest emails first, you lower the amount of activation energy needed to get started – i.e. if something feels difficult, it can be hard to get going, whereas the easier you make starting the task, the more likely you are to have a go.

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