Inbox Zero and Peanut ShellsPosted: January 25, 2012
What’s the deal with old emails? People hold on to email like everything sent was from their first high school crush. Get over it already. It’s done. You’ve dealt with it. What are you hanging on to? I’m always hearing of colleagues who have exceeded their mailbox limits at work. What’s the default solution? Ask for more space of course. Seriously, stop the madness.
Now I get it that you might need to keep a “paper trail” for some legal reasons or to track conversations, but let go of everything else, please.
The concept of inbox zero is pretty straightforward, and self-explanatory. In practice it proves to be something most people either can’t or won’t work toward. Letting your inbox drive your day is a dangerous practice. You’re never going to accomplish all those great plans you have if you are constantly being poked by your email.
Merlin Mann has an excellent series on Inbox Zero over at his 43 Folders blog. He uses peanut shells as an analogy to email. You don’t keep every peanut shell from every peanut you eat. Once you eat the peanut, you discard the shell. It’s done. Do the same with dead email. Otherwise it can drive you nuts.