It seems the norm these days to have an inbox that is weighed down with thousands of emails. With that also comes the expectation that it will always be that way, barring any impulse to blindly delete it all. In my line of work, I’ve come to believe that drastic change is possible, but was still floored when a few weeks ago I received this comment on one of my old videos, Fast Tip for Email Inbox Clean-Up:
"Have gone from a whopping 5,600 emails to 510 so far with the Post-it note method. Feels unexpectedly liberating."
My jaw was on the floor and I replied to the comment immediately. View the video posted above and our comment exchange here.
I had used this simple method a few times to bring my inbox down to 30ish emails from 100+. I suspected that it could help those with a heavier load, but this comment truly was a shock! I followed up with the commenter and here’s what she said:
"Yes, I started 2 weeks ago when I saw your video and commented. I have been deleting emails in increments of 150, and now increments of 50 as I am down to the high 300s."
I’m constantly coming up with pen-to-paper ways to track progress and focus my time. This is just one of many techniques that I felt I pulled out of thin air. In a nutshell, this short video describes my “opposite thermometer” technique. Linearly, I jot down inbox goals and cross them off as I reach them (150/125/100/etc). Makes more sense when you watch me explain it.
Have you ever experienced a drastic drop in emails? If so, how did you do it? Have you tried my “thermometer technique?” How did it work for you? Please share in the comments!