He just did a blog post that addresses one of the banes of my existence: e-mail overload. I hate e-mail for the purpose of sharing links, collaboration, coordination, or keeping up with tasks and project. But I can’t seem to wean from e-mail the people I need to connect with on that stuff. Everyone uses different tools and services to manage their own processes, and too often the lowest common denominator is e-mail.
In Inbox Zero and the Critical Mistake That Saps Productivity, Stever writes:
“I believe that an empty inbox just means youâ€™ve ceded control of your thinking and priorities to everyone who emails you. They control the volume, order, and substance of your attention for the time youâ€™re processing your email. It *feels good* to have an empty inbox, but it also feels good to gorge on Oreo ice cream cake. That doesnâ€™t mean that Oreo ice cream cake is good for you, only that it feels good. Inbox Zero has the extra sugary bonus that since *some* email is an essential part of our job, itâ€™s easy to believe (with no evidence at all) that therefore itâ€™s useful to spend some time on *all* email.
“Rather than striving for inbox zero, I advocate learning to identify the truly relevant emails very, very quickly, with an absolute minimum of cognitive load or context switching.
Whew! I don’t feel so bad now about the nearly 1000 items in my Gmail inbox…