Hey, its Paul Colligan for Make It Happen
Mondays. Yes, you got my full face this time. If you’d rather see screencasts, go ahead
and leave that in the comments below. I tweeted something interesting today. I reached
what I call “inbox zero”. And “inbox zero” is a common industry term for “nothing in
my inbox”. Completely and totally empty. It lets me accomplish great things because I’m
not worrying about responding to people’s emails. What was funny was in that tweet I got a whole
bunch of responses back from people saying, “Inbox zero! How is that even possible?” Another
person said, “Inbox, I’m an inbox 3,000”. Somebody else said “Hey Paul, how do you do
it?” Well, let me tell you how I did it or at least
the first step to doing it. The first step to accomplishing “inbox zero” for most people
is what we call in the industry declaring email bankruptcy. What is email bankruptcy?
Well, its simple you go into your inbox you select all and you hit delete. “Wait a minute Paul, what am I gonna do? There’s
a lot of important stuff in there.” Yes, there is a lot of important stuff in there, but
there’re two types of pieces in there. The first piece are things that you need to
respond to, stuff that you need to deal with. The rest of that is that reference stuff,
you know: logins, passwords, newsletters, email updates, you know, pictures from college.
That type of stuff. Those things can go away. Its okay if those
things go away. So what you do, you go in, you select everything,
you delete. And then, here is the deal. You know how life is: there are people that you
are working with right now, there are people you need to respond to. You simply put them all in one bulk email
and say, “Hey, I declared email bankruptcy. I’m only going to do this once. I’ve deleted
my entire inbox. If you’re waiting for something from me, what you’ll need to do is to email
me and get it back. I promise, I’ll never do this again. I’m only declaring email bankruptcy
once”. Then that’s what you do. From that point on,
everyday on your inbox you go in and you complete inbox zero. You get all of your email messages
so that they go away, so that you face every day with nothing but a blank slate. Now, I’ve known some people who have declared
email bankruptcy multiple times. That’s not an option either. You’ll want to do this once. People will understand,
people appreciate the email beast. When I did email bankruptcy, I got email from
several other people who said, “Paul, I’m going that do the exact same thing”. So, get email under control, declare email
bankruptcy. Do it once, then follow up on your commitments. You’re going to be amazed
at how much more productive it makes you. This has been Paul Colligan, for “Make It
Happen Mondays”.