INBOX ZERO. Merlin Mann, who cooked up Inbox Zero, said, "Just remember that every email you read, re-read, and re-re-re-re-re-read as it sits in that big dumb pile is actually incurring mental debt on your behalf. The interest you pay on email you're reluctant to deal with is compounded every day and, in all likelihood, it's what's led you to feeling like such a useless slacker today."

Tabula rasa

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What better way to start the year than with a clean e-mail slate?

I went through my e-mail accounts on New Year’s Day to process it back to Inbox Zero – the state it was in weeks ago, which I wrote about in a blog post here.

INBOX ZERO. Merlin Mann, who cooked up Inbox Zero, said, "Just remember that every email you read, re-read, and re-re-re-re-re-read as it sits in that big dumb pile is actually incurring mental debt on your behalf. The interest you pay on email you're reluctant to deal with is compounded every day and, in all likelihood, it's what's led you to feeling like such a useless slacker today."

INBOX ZERO. Merlin Mann, who cooked up Inbox Zero, said, “Just remember that every email you read, re-read, and re-re-re-re-re-read as it sits in that big dumb pile is actually incurring mental debt on your behalf. The interest you pay on email you’re reluctant to deal with is compounded every day and, in all likelihood, it’s what’s led you to feeling like such a useless slacker today.”

It took me less than a day to process the e-mails that had accumulated in December. It took much less time because I had done the grunt work in September. For weeks after that initial work, I was able to maintain the Inbox Zero state of my main e-mail account with regular reviews.

The emails, however, started accumulating in December as I rushed to meet one deadline after another heading to the holidays and could hardly keep up with processing messages.

It’s the start of the year and the blank slate tells the universe I’m ready to take on even more challenges.

If you are drowning in e-mails and want to process your accounts to Inbox Zero, check out my earlier post here: Inbox Zero. The Guardian also published an excellent guide on how to clear your inbox: “The definitive eight-point guide to email inbox nirvana

“The point is to think of the inbox as somewhere that emails pause, temporarily, en route to somewhere else, rather than as a place where you store them. How frequently you actually clear your inbox isn’t so important. The key is to cultivate a very mild degree of stress about every email in your inbox: like a greasy mark on a mirror, or a heap of dirty laundry in a hamper, it doesn’t belong there: it needs, eventually, to be dealt with.”

Oliver Burkeman: The definitive eight-point guide to email inbox nirvana

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  1. [...] to the ding of my phone reminding me to run 5K and finish writing this article on to-do lists and a blog post on Inbox [...]

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