Inbox Zero – October 2021

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A technique developed by Merlin Mann is a structured thought process for triaging and clearing your email inbox every day. Delete ~ Delegate ~ Defer ~ Do

To put Inbox Zero into play, one needs to touch every email, ideally soon after it is received. Not only is it reviewed, but one needs to make some very quick decisions about what to do with that email.

  • Delete: Will you ever need this email again? If not, buh-bye, hit that delete button!
  • Delegate: Is this email meant for you? If not, delegate to the appropriate person.
  • Defer: Does this email require a bit more time? If so, label or tag it to a follow-up folder and move on to the emails that require less time.
  • Do: Is this a quick reply? If so, do it now and keep it moving through your inbox.

By taking these actions on each email, one can quickly go through a large number of new messages in minutes. The goal is not to keep an inbox at zero—it’s about processing messages efficiently and allowing one’s mind to move on, to get to the most important tasks.

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