Chasing Inbox Zero


For a while now I have been chasing the elusive "Inbox Zero" in the hopes that it would bring a Zen like calm to my daily work. Instead, it feels more like chasing a rabbit down a rabbit hole --- endless twists and turns that take you deeper and deeper yet you never find the rabbit.

So why do we chase the rabbit? For some, it is about clean as in "Cleanliness is next to Godliness even for your inbox." For others it is about checking things off a list but I'd argue that is why we use paper or virtual checklists . And for others it is how they manage what they do and resolving emails is about feeling good about the work you do.

Today I found an article on titled "Why 'Inbox Zero' Is Like a Fad Diet" and the musings of the author have resonated with me. Why? Because getting to inbox zero only provides a short term gain, and if your inbox is anything like mine the short term gain could be just a few minutes? What happens when your inbox takes over again? Well it leads to angst which is never a good thing.

Truth be told managing your inbox is about managing priorities but more importantly managing what you value. I'm a big believer in M.T.M. - managing the moment. While it is definitely important to schedule time for project work, M.T.M. is how most of us lead our lives. 

So from this point forward I'm leaving "Inbox Zero" behind and focusing my attention on the moment -- what can I get done today in this moment?

What about you?