I’ve spent the last couple of days going through my inbox and clearing out my old emails. I easily cleared out over 1000 emails, maybe more. I don’t have a clear idea of how many I had when I started. (Not sure I want to know.)

As of this morning, I am down to 10 (TEN!) emails across five email inboxes.

Each one of those emails represents time. I need to do something that won’t take just a few seconds. This is why I just let email just sit and fester. It’s the “Oh yeah, I need to get to that.” Instead, I’ll get to all of those things in the next few days.

I feel really good about my clean inbox. I feel even better because I finally have a plan.

It seems obvious in retrospect. I have made half-hearted attempts at cleaning out my inboxes before now. The difference is that this time I have a plan. I have developed general rules on how to handle every email that comes in (and I’m assuming I’ll keep adding to those rules as the year progresses.)

What’s more important, though, is that I now have a plan for how to get my inboxes to zero every week. That part is crucial. Without that, it’s an exercise in futility. Having a clean inbox without a plan for how to get it clean once a week means I won’t do the work. The rules will break down. A once a week scrub really helps my mindset in terms of continuing to make progress.

I currently have over 27K emails filed in various folders. I do not have to go through through all the rest of that email and clean it out. Those are emails that I get to save so that if I need to, I can search for what they contain. Those are my safety net, and yet another reason why I could clean out my inboxes. I didn’t have to throw everything away (though I threw out A LOT.) I could file it instead.

I have a few folders that will require action. Just not immediate action. Like the “To Print” folder that contains receipts etc. However, that’s a task that I’ll do when I do my taxes. Plus there’s a tax folder, a to fix folder, etc.

I will deal with those folders later. I have tasks now on my board for going through those. I’ve even (finally) created subfolders, like Taxes_2020 in the general Tax folder.

I feel so good having done this. I’m likely to be a little manic about keeping my inbox clean for a month or so. I’ve also added a calendar reminder for myself to clean out my inbox every Sunday.

We’ll see how the plan goes. I am aware that this is the first iteration of it, and that I will need to tweak it. I’m also aware that any plan that I make and follow tends to only run a single quarter, maybe two, then I need to change it up. I’m prepared for that, though.

Second day of the year, moving ahead with things! Go me! (^_^)

How has the new year been treating you so far?