Inbox zero is a vanity metric

My email inbox is currently at zero, so I have approximately 45 seconds to get my point across until that is no longer the case:

Answering emails feels productive, but it can be one of the biggest wastes of time in your day.

Have you ever had a huge project deadline looming over you, and all of a sudden found yourself performing every little chore to procrastinate? Four hours later, your apartment has never been cleaner, but you’re even further behind in reaching your big goal.

Email is supposed to be the most efficient way to communicate over the internet. Don’t let it be your #1 daily distraction.

I usually triage emails with Mailbox each morning on my way to work. I’ll answer the most important ones immediately, then snooze the rest until my afternoon email break. That way, I get to work and immediately spend my first 4-6 hours deeply focused on my most important tasks of the day. During this time, my phone actually comes out of my pocket and under the desk to avoid distractions.

Once a week, usually on Sunday afternoons, I’ll sit down for a concentrated email session. This is when I draft key emails for the week, answer my email backlog, and unsubscribe from any spam that made its way into my inbox. Each Sunday night, I take a moment to savor the pretty picture that Mailbox provides me when I hit inbox zero. And then I get another email.