I used to work with a client that responded to, filed or deleted every email he received and he received a lot of email. It was a pretty remarkable thing. If I saw he had 20 emails in his Inbox, I got worried that he might have been hit by a bus or something.
Responding to, filing or deleting every email in my inbox was something that I aspired to do. I use my email Inbox as a To Do list of sorts. I have other ways of keeping track of things I need to take care of and my email inbox is one of the most important.
Over the last year the number of email messages in my inbox averaged between 200 and 40 emails. The highest was 300, the lowest was 33.
A few weeks ago I set a goal of ZERO emails in my inbox. As I worked towards this goal what I discovered was that as I whittled away at the total number of emails in my inbox it became harder and harder to deal with the older and older emails.
This morning I started with forty seven emails in my inbox. By 7:48 I had five. A record for me. This was great only five emails in my inbox! These last five could wait...they have been there for a long time (up to four years) I could put them off a little longer.
And then I thought, "No. Deal with them now." And I did.