Spring Cleaning Your Inbox

With spring cleaning in full swing, it’s time to get things done and before you move on to that mess in the garage and the basement, work on your email inbox.

How many emails are sitting in your inbox right now? Dozens? Hundreds? More?

We all do it, leave the messages and eternal threads of back and forths with colleagues right in the inbox. But just as a cluttered physical workspace throws up distractions to get things done, a messy inbox can do the same thing.

Merlin Mann, of 43 Folders, is a GTD evangelist. His site offers you ways to get things dpne, and the most popular series of articles is about a concept he calls Inbox Zero. No email in your inbox.

Chris Brogan is a social media star who followed Merlin’s plan and recently achieved the ultimate clean slate – an empty email inbox.

Chris admits, “the trick is all in what you do when you get them in.”

Just as it is preached to just touch a physical memo once to effectively manage your time, Chris tries to do the same with email.

“When (email) comes in, see if you can just reply right away. Try to close all informational loops in one go,” Brogan says.

If you can’t read all of Merlin’s tips, you can watch a video of a lecture he made at Google on the concept. It lasts about an hour, and by the end I was down to Inbox Two. Not quite as efficient as cleaning services NYC can handle an apartment, but good enough.

Now, if Merlin would just post a video called “Garage Zero,” my wife would be so much happier.

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