Keith Rarick’s “Inbox Zero for Life”

Recorded on May 3rd, 2016

I’m pretty sure I first ran across Keith Rarick’s Inbox Zero for Life closer to when it was first published in 2013. I’ve fallen so far off the wagon in the meantime that it feels new again. Yes, it’s another “inbox zero” method, but it’s ruthless and hardcore, and yet it doesn’t argue with the reality of more coming in than you can deal with. I fought every urge I had this afternoon and tried it at work and, amazingly, it worked.

I think this paragraph towards the end explains what makes it good:

Staring at a bold to-do-list inbox makes it all too easy to throw up your hands and close the browser. After all, even if you were to pick one of those emails and take care of it, it’d probably be replaced with 3 more, like a hydra, by the time you returned to your inbox. The ground is constantly shifting under you. On the other hand, your starred items folder only ever contains things that you put there. You can look at it, pick one thing to do, do that thing, and look again: there is now one fewer thing! You and you alone decide when to process incoming mail and star new messages.

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