There are many strategies and tools for getting to inbox zero, yet they generally require a level of diligence most of us can’t manage forever. Rather than doom yourself to failure, give into your inadequacies and stop aiming for zero.
Photo by European Outdoor Group
The question then becomes “how do you stay on top of your emails and to-do items?” The first answer is already pretty well highlighted in Google’s Priority Inbox because it’s a feature that tells you what is important and what to ignore. You don’t need to actually use Priority Inbox, but take a note from its playbook. If your daily inbox content is greater than the time you have to complete it, you need to start ignoring things. Many emails are easy to ignore because they’re either ads, newsletters or other mostly unactionable items.
While this idea won’t necessarily work for everyone, neither does inbox zero. You have to find a method of getting through your daily emails and tasks that works well for you. I feel that having realistic goals is better than idealistic ones I’m never likely to achieve, so I try to find ways to work with my flaws rather than pretend they don’t exist. In some cases I find it very easy to organise things, like my Dropbox, but email is an exception. The important thing is that you figure out what’s right for you.