“I’ve never gotten to inbox zero, but once I got to inbox two and that was amazing.”
That quip from a client cracked me up — and perfectly highlights the crazy-ass standards we set for ourselves.
We’ve all got perfection gremlins floating around and nagging us. They’re especially easy to spot when it comes to unavoidable daily chores like checking e-mail.
It’s too easy to hold ourselves to the perfect standard: inbox zero, every day, all the time.
Only more e-mails will surely come.
You can’t win. You can’t do it perfectly.
Ease up on yourself.
You have permission to ignore your e-mail today. No one will die. (Unless you’re a doctor and they might, at which point…e-mail. Get on it.)
You have permission to check it on your phone or to delete the app entirely.
You have permission to process e-mail once a day.
You have permission to ignore screens entirely,
to turn off notifications, to silence the beeping,
to shut down the vibrations entirely.
You have permission to take the day off. (Or at least the hour.)
How are you, today? How would you like to feel?
Who would you like to be?
Those are questions e-mail can’t help you answer.
They require silence and stillness.
So get silent. Get still.
Pursue the ways you would like to feel and the person you would like to be. The e-mail will work itself out.
For checking e-mail with coffee-shop like background noise // Cofftivity
For e-mail on your iPhone — the very best app // Mailbox
For returning e-mails to your inbox at your convenience (especially good for sales follow-up) // Boomerang
For distracting yourself from how much e-mail you have to answer // This
Know someone who needs help with e-mail or permission to ignore it? Please use the magical share buttons below to spread the word. ::mwah::