Inbox Zero is a practice of keeping your inbox empty or almost empty at all times by quickly replying, forwarding, archiving, or deleting emails as appropriate. I started practicing inbox zero a month ago and have noticed four beneficial changes in my life as a result.
1. No surprises or missed commitments
Before practicing inbox zero, I would often just mark my messages as read, and a lot of times, emails would slip through the cracks. I was always scrolling back through my full inbox scanning for possibly missed emails, but I didn't know what I was looking for specifically. Occasionally, I would hear from someone that I never responded to something they had sent me. It was never disastrous, but it was always embarrassing. This could never happen now. I am aware of every email that passes through my inbox, and I am always sure that I responded.
2. Less stress
Because I know with certainty that I am handling all of the communication that passes through my inbox, I am no longer in a persistent state of low-level stress over what might be unaddressed in my inbox. I am lighter, happier, more focused, and more productive as a result.
3. Increased confidence
Additionally, I have noticed an increased sense of confidence and pride. I am developing a deeply held belief that I am a responsible, dependable person because I prove it to myself over and over again in the way that I handle my communication. This has a compounding affect as this confidence gives me the mental state needed to take on more challenges and grow.
4. Better professional relationships
One of the unexpected results I have noticed is the reaction I get from others with my prompt responses to their emails. I have received comments and compliments from others about how they are impressed with me or know they can count on me. It’s hard to know the concrete impact of this so early on, but I know this can only serve to open doors and opportunities for me.
Still not convinced? I recommend trying out inbox zero for even 1 day to see what kind of impact it can have on your life.