Empty Inbox Policy

Just recently, my office decided to change the mail server from Microsoft to Google. I’m using Gmail since the beginning of time, forwarding my office mails into my private Gmail account, so that I only have to open one mail client for everything. So, even though Google lets you sign-in to more than one account, and it’s so easy to switch between accounts, at first I thought, “Oh, what a hassle, now I have to check my emails in two accounts.” But now I feel that this is actually a good thing, that work emails are now strictly separated from private emails.

One more good thing comes out of this change, I finally dedicated my time to manage my inbox. Someone sent me this lifehack after he saw my inbox with 5000++ emails, saying something like “Don’t you know that there is this feature called ‘archive’??” :D. I thought, why should I? I know which ones are read and which are unread anyway. But then, I would like to give it a try. It took me a whole day to clean my inbox and re-organize my mail client. Now that Gmail has this new feature of automatically separating emails coming from social network, advertisements, forum, etc., my filters and labels become obsolete, I don’t need them anymore.

And you know what, it works like magic!

I become more thrilled when there is a new email comes into my inbox. I simplify the rules from lifehack, I don’t separate follow-up and hold emails. Everything that comes into my inbox, whether it is something I need to reply, or something I need to do, becomes my to-do list. When that email is replied, or I do something about it (put it into my calendar, add it to my task list, get the task done, or whatever), it can be archived. And then, I become obsessed with cleaning my inbox! Emails that need to be replied I reply immediately. Before I usually wait for some time, or even forget about them completely *replying emails is not my favorite activity*.

Well, the downside is that now I check my inbox more often, because I’m so eager to make it empty again ^^; I need to work on that. Uhm, actually, my smartphone knows when there’re new emails, so I just need to watch out for phone notifications, no need to check every 10 minutes. Anyway, I really recommend this trick to make your day more productive.

There’s one more policy that I’ve added in my life: empty sink policy! Do dishwashing right after cooking or eating, no compromise 😀

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