Merlin Mann back in the days of 43folders.com coined a phrase Inbox Zero to address the topic of email management.
Over the last number of years the term grew in popularity and became part of the common language. Unfortunately as result of it’s popularity the meaning and purpose behind the Inbox Zero has been twisted to the point of ridicule i.e. your mailbox must be at zero. So just the other day after a great interview with Mike Hurley over at the CMD+Space podcast Merlin wrote a great follow up the Inbox Zero.
Let me share some of the key quotes from Chasing the right zero:
Given that every inbox necessarily represents a source of incompletion in our lives, any potential source of new input that we invite (or even permit) into our world presents a never-ending challenge that we may choose to frequently address, but which we must accept we can never even begin to control.
Inbox Zero is merely a philosophical practice of learning to be parsimonious about which and how many inputs we allow into into our lives—and, then, to responsibly but mindfully tend to those inputs in a way that is never allowed to hinder our personal commitment to doing the work that really matters to us.
Once you’ve dedicated yourself to making the things you love, every inbox can and should become a well-monitored servant rather than a merciless master.
Now it’s time for you to think how you manage your inboxes and which zeros are you chasing.