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When Should You Declare Email Bankruptcy?

Have you ever felt so overwhelmed by email that you just wanted to delete your account and start fresh?   Over the past several months I’ve had many co-workers tell me that their inbox is so full they can’t manage it. My advice to all of them has been declare email bankruptcy and move on.

Declare Email Bankruptcy

When Do You Know It’s Time To Walk Away

• People are complaining that your not responding to the emails
• You have more than 500 Unread emails
• You know you’ll never get through them all
• Just opening your inbox causes stress

Inbox Zero

So What Are You To Do

• Unsubscribe from any newsletter or promotions that you haven’t looked at in over a month
• Scan your emails over the past couple of months and reply to the ones you know are important
• If you just can’t bear to delete them all, move them to your Archive Folder
• Delete all emails and look at your cleared Inbox. This is what empty looks like
• Don’t worry about unread emails. If it’s important someone will ask you about it
• Develop a daily routine to clear your inbox

I’m not suggesting you declare email bankruptcy on a regular basis. Like financial bankruptcy, declaring email bankruptcy should only be done when you are so overwhelmed that you know you can’t get through it. While email bankruptcy may provide some immediate relief for getting a handle on email, if it’s not accompanied by methods, strategies, and habits to deal with incoming email, you’re going to end up in the same predicament. How quickly this happens depends on the daily volume of email you receive.

The goal when declaring email bankruptcy is not to avoid your responsibilities but to wipe the slate clean. This allows you to stay on top of those responsibilities moving forward.


How can I help you get to Inbox Zero? Hit me up in the comment section or hit reply to my email.

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