9000 Unread Emails to Inbox Zero

There is no easy to find publish date on this site, but from the metadata it seems like it’s circa June 2014.

Pat Flynn talks about his struggle with email, starting with hundreds of unread emails, and creeping up to many thousands. He tried tooling, and it helped a little, but not enough. The answer, after years of doubt, was to hire an executive assistant. After the hiring, it took 3 weeks to get down to 0 unread emails.

His assistant, Jess, had a nice strategy. She focused on different types of emails, which was discovered by actually reading the email. A lot of it was spam, so that’s easy enough to trim down. Turns out only 5% of it needed to be dealt with. Still, a big job when 5% is 500 emails, so they did ultimately declare “email bankruptcy” (delete it all), and start fresh. I’d think they probably plucked out the very most important emails before doing that.

They talk about getting over a hurdle of trust to let someone else have that kind of access to your inbox. I get that. I’d probably never do it for my personal email, but a business inbox, sure. The other obvious hurdle though is cost. I’d bet most of us don’t have an income-to-email ratio that supports the idea of hiring someone just for this.

Fun quote from the show:

Email is just another way to organize other peoples adgendas.

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