Answer these questions:

  1. Do you need to scroll 4 or more screens to see all of the emails in your Inbox?
  2. When asked how many emails you have in your Inbox do you need to use a calculator?
  3. Do you get unsolicited calls from IT support asking you to PLEASE clean out your Inbox it is slowing down the server?
  4. Do you compare the number of emails in your Inbox to the population of China?

If you answered “yes” to 1 or more of these questions you need to Detox ur Inbox.

Step 1:

Create a new folder in your email app called “Old Mail” (or anything else you want to call it.)

Step 2:

Go to your Inbox and select all the messages (usually Ctrl-A)

Step 3:

Now move all those messages to the “Old Mail” folder you just created using drag-and-drop or the menu bar command in your email program

Step 4:

Your Inbox is now empty! Keep it empty. Do not add any additional mail to the “Old Mail” folder.  It is a closed box.

Step 5:

First thing every morning (really, the first thing – I’m not joking) when you boot up your computer you will need to spend 5-10 minutes processing the messages in the “Old Mail” folder. Your choices are:

  • Do it
  • Delete it
  • Delegate it

Keep doing this every day until the folder is empty.  Then keep practicing the right habits to prevent an embarrassingly, overflowing Inbox.

Got other tips for good email maintenance?  Let us know in your comments below.