“Does the inbox really have to be empty?” was one of the questions I got yesterday when I gave a talk for MSD’s all employees in Sweden.
A sign of efficiency
No, the mail inbox does not really have to be kept empty, but if you reach “zero inbox” every once in a while, that is a sign that you have a systematic and working way of handling your emails.
You do not read the same email many times, you do not mark an email as unread again, you do not let emails remain in the inbox awaiting some undefined moment in the future, you create a to-do task when an email means that you have to do something that you do not do immediately.
You escape having a growing, unclear email pile towering over you.
A happiness-inducing habit
The euforia — the victory! — you feel when the inbox is emptied from time to time is a bonus. And, a short burst of happiness doesn’t hurt on an ordinary Thursday, if you ask me.
Thank you, MSD, for the opportunity! Good luck with your structuring efforts. Email me when you have reached chapter 10 in the structure book, as I will send you something extra!