How To Get To Inbox Zero With These 4 Simple Steps



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Hey everyone, Kosio Angelov here, author of the #1 Amazon bestselling book The Lean Email Simple System and also creator of the Project Productive Time Management and Productivity Program for Entrepreneurs. If you’d like to get my content-packed eBook on how to get to the next level of productivity and really double your productivity and your efficiency and your results over the next 30 days, simply click on the link below this video, enter your name and email address, and I’ll send out his book right away. The eBook is worth $97, but you can get it for absolutely free.

These days in the business world, it is considered almost standard for people to receive anywhere between 50 to 75 emails, and when you add on top of that all the emails from family, from friends, from social media notifications and coupons and deals and newsletters, the emails per day that each one of us gets can be anywhere between 75 to 100 emails. We live in an over-communicated society, and often we’re overwhelmed by the amounts of emails we get.

Let’s talk about a system that can get you to inbox zero with a matter of just a few short weeks. But first of all, what is “inbox zero”? Inbox zero is a term that was made popular by a gentleman by the name of Merlin Mann, and what it means is to have no emails in your inbox that you need to process. That’s not because nobody sent you any emails during that day, but because you learned how to process them on a regular basis.

The system that I used for years to get to inbox zero, and I’ve taught many people, and they also achieved great success with it, has 4 simple rules to it.

Rule #1 – No email in the morning

First off, don’t check your email first thing in the morning, and especially when you begin your day. Email does not really constitute work if you think about it. Being in your email and replying to emails and just wasting your time in your inbox does not mean that you’re actually working. Of course, if you work in customer service, that is not true, but for the rest of us – actually, for most of us, it holds true.

As one of my mentors, Brendon Burchard, likes to say, “Beware of your inbox. It is nothing more than an organizing system for other people’s agendas.” If you really think about it, it is so true. When was the last time you received an email that wasn’t asking something or asking something of you? We rarely get emails that are just good actionable information. Most of the time, we deal with other people’s agendas. First rule and Rule #1 is do not check your email first thing in the morning (here is what you should do instead), especially if you haven’t done any actual productive work, because being in your email does not mean that you’re working.

And of course, if you need information that’s in your inbox in order to move a project forward, get in your inbox, find that one or two messages, get the information out of them, and then just close out of your inbox completely. Don’t look at any other emails. Rule #1: do not check your email first thing in the morning.

Rule #2 – check your email 3 times a day (yes, you can do it)

When do you actually check your email if it’s not in the morning? This is where Rule #2 comes in. Rule #2 states you should check your email only three times a day: one time in the mid-morning, after you’ve done some high leverage, meaningful work; one time in mid-afternoon; and the third time in the evening. Each time that you check your email, spend no more than 30 minutes processing your inbox. I actually try to do 15 each time, but sometimes you need a little more.

If you have to, spend the full 30 minutes, and that should give you an hour and a half between all the three times that you check your email, and an hour and a half is more than enough for most people to process all their emails per day. Rule #2 is check your emails three times a day and spend no more than 30 minutes each time processing your messages in your inbox.

Rule #3 – Process all your emails

The third rule is when you actually do check your email, don’t just read emails. Process them. When you actually open one of your messages, you have three possible actions that you should be able to take: 1, you reply to it; 2, you delete it; or 3, you forward it to the right person in your team or organization. That’s it. Once you’ve opened an email, you’re not allowed to just let it sit in your inbox. You need to take an action and just choose from one of the three: forward it, reply to it, delete it, and then just move on to the next message till your inbox is completely empty. Rule #3 is process all your emails, don’t just let them sit in your inbox.

Rule #4 – Disable all instant notifications

And finally, Rule #4, the last one. The last rule is turn off all notifications that you’ve received an email. Close out from your browser, turn off Outlook or any other mail client that you have, and most importantly, turn off all notifications on your cell phone, on your tablet, or any other gadget you might have that receives email. Because think about it; if you get 50 or 75 or even 100 messages per day and you get a notification or a beep or a bing or a vibrate for each one of them, you’re constantly going to get distracted. Don’t allow email to get you distracted, especially when you’re doing high leverage, meaningful work. So Rule #4 is turn off all notifications that you’ve received an email.

The inbox zero system

Here’s how the four rules come together into the system that I use every day, and I get to inbox zero on a consistent basis:

First off, I don’t check my email first thing in the morning. I concentrate on doing some actual meaningful work before I’m allowed to check my email.

When I do check my email, I try to do it three times a day; one time mid-morning, after I’ve done some work, second time in the mid-afternoon, and third time in the evening. And I try to spend no more than 30 minutes each time processing my emails.

When I actually do get to check my email, I process all my messages. I either delete them, forward them, or I reply to them. That’s it. No email is allowed to just sit in my inbox.

And most importantly, I turn off all notifications. Unless I want my email to disrupt me, email is not allowed to disturb my day and break my thoughts.

Over to you now

Try out this system for yourself, and you’re going to see just in a couple of days, you’re going to start feeling relieved and not stressed out about email. If you actually incorporate this into your daily routine, you’re going to get to inbox zero on a consistent basis.

Finally, if you’d like to take your productivity to the next level and really become more efficient and more productive and learn how to manage your time better, plus eliminate all the negative habits and substitute them with new, efficient, and healthy ones, plus learn how to eliminate all distractions and really keep yourself focused, click on the link below, and I’ll send you my content-packed eBook on how to double your productivity in just 30 days. The book is worth $97, but you can get it for absolutely free.

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What other methods and techniques do you use to reach and maintain inbox zero? Share them in the comment section below: