inbox zero in one day

The machine does not isolate man from the great problems of nature
but plunges him more deeply into them.
~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

In this new year, will you let your inbox rule you? Or will you rule your inbox? It’s a new year, so why not start with a fresh new inbox? I’ll tell you why not, because you have hundreds of unread emails in your inbox. How can you possibly zero it out in a day? Even if you did, you’d be back to hundreds at week’s end.

Experience shows that the full inbox is used as a to-do list, a database, and an excuse. What the full inbox is not doing is helping you stay focused and productive. The to-do list option works for a while, until you have hundreds of emails and can not distinguish between the ‘to-do’ items, the ‘I don’t know what to do with this’ items, and the unread items. The fuller the inbox gets, the more stressed we become. The more stressed we become, the less productive we are and the fuller the inbox gets – from lack of processing.

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anywhere workers do it with structure

John is getting ready to make a career change. He’s been working in a professional office for several decades. Now he is moving into the next phase of his career as an independent consultant working out of his home office. He wants to know what to expect and how to best prepare. John: ‘Can you teach an old dog new tricks?’ My response: ‘Maybe new tricks, but I’d rather find some old tricks within the true nature of the dog.’ Our approach: Examine the current work structure (schedule, processes) then sketch out the potential ‘new tricks’ for the new role. Once we have a list of both, we can identify which to keep (old dog tricks) and which to revive (old tricks same dog). Let’s get started!

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give a damn busted? try these tips

When I was working in an office (cubical), I used to dream of being able to work anywhere I wanted (sidewalk cafe) when I wanted (no earlier than 10am). Especially on those beautiful fall days when the sun was bright,trees on fire with autumn colors, and the air was cool and refreshing. I would sit inside the stuffy office under florescent light and dream of enjoying the freedom to work when I was motivated and to nap when i was tired. So when I actually started working as an ‘anywhere worker’ I was excited to work anywhere, anytime and would take naps to get refreshed between bursts of productive work. I was in heaven. My favorite place to work was on the back deck of our home with a hot latte and the dog at my feet.

Then one day I just couldn’t get motivated. I slept in, ate breakfast (brunch), checked email, took a nap, had lunch…you get the idea. I would open files to start working but just couldn’t tap into my moho. I figured it was just one of those days, and was grateful that I had the choice to work or not work. I knew that if today wasn’t productive, tomorrow would certainly make up for it. BUt tomorrow was just the same. This went on for several days. And though procrastination has it’s place (see ‘praise for procrastination) it is possible to do it to excess. Once in excess the benefits of procrastination become a hindrance. I knew I had to break this cycle before it became the norm instead of the exception. Here are a few of my tricks to…inspire action with purpose

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