Thursday, June 25, 2009

Aiming for the Illusive "Zero Messages"

A month or two ago I read a post by Michael Hyatt, CEO of Thomas Nelson, Inc. about keeping on top of email. It had me inspired and motivated to weed through the mess that had become my inbox and empty it out. Previously I had been satisfied to get it down to 50 messages. But Hyatt talks about clearing it out. Making it completely empty. As in zero messages.

I can't remember ever seeing my inbox say "0 messages". Not even the day I set it up (because, after all, you have to have someone send a test message and then you've got mail). However, once I read what Michael Hyatt does on a regular basis, suddenly zero messages had become the Holy Grail of email communication for me. I wanted to get my inbox empty. I needed to get that inbox empty.

Two months later and I'm still hovering around 50 messages. Sometimes (weekends) it zooms up to a hundred or more. Then gradually during the work week I attempt to whittle it down. One week I even had it down to 18 messages. Almost there, but not quite.

So I am going public with my quest. Shame me. Hound me. Do your part to urge me on to that illusive goal. I want to reach zero messages. The perennial procrastinator in me makes this a challenge, but I'm ready to purge the procrastination. I want to storm the inbox and obliterate the messages there. Only 38 messages to go. Can I do it?

Oh dear, do you realize what you've just done, Amusing Mom? You've just invited all these people to blast your inbox in an effort to thwart your quest. Or worse yet, you've caused all the lovely people you enjoy hearing from to shy away from sending you email. What to do? How to reassure them that you'll promptly delete all "spam"/fake emails and happily (& promptly) reply to any real email? Oh well, what's done is done - trust that your readers are ALL lovely people who will gladly continue to send you electronic missives. Now pick up that laptop and get off on your quest!

4 musings:

everydayMOM said...

I always feel good when I get my inbox below 2,000 messages. So, if you ever need to feel better just think of me sitting here on 2,859 messages.

hellolittlepeepers said...

Why 0? I tend to keep mine around 50 and i have a few folders that i put other ones in.

A Musing Mom said...

EverydayMOM - Really? You're my icon of efficiency and non-procrastination. Then again, you're also THE everdayMOM, so I'm sure your inbox is flooded with hundreds of emails daily. 2,000 sounds reasonable for someone of your stature.

hellolittlepeepers - 0 because it sounds so completed. Plus with 50 there's always the one or two that sit in there that I should have responded to and simply read and thought the response instead of typing it. Totally my method of combating procrastination and disorganization. We'll see how it goes. I may settle back to accepting 50 if zero is just totally unattainable.

mominthemoon said...

That goal is admirable! How are you doing? I know it is impossible for me, much as the "paperless" office would be. But, I will just Facebook you if I can't email you! Better yet, I could talk to you in THERE'S a novel idea! (This is Colleen, by the way!) ;)