Items that linger in your inbox sap your effectiveness. The longer they remain, the more pressure, guilt, or distraction you will feel and the less effective you will be.
Things linger in your inbox because
- You have not decided what specifically to do about them,
- Each might contain something important you should know, save, or act on, and
- You think your inbox is the best place to keep these items so you don’t forget about them.
To clear lingering inbox items, MOD them. That is, review each one to get it out of your inbox and into your task system where important items belong. Invest the time to see what each item really means to you. Then decide, as David Allen says, if you will “do, delegate, defer, or delete” each item. Since lingering items seem to multiply in your inbox, you may spend quite a few hours over several days to MOD them all.
Once you’ve productively cleared your inbox, drop me a line. I’d love to know how you did and what you noticed.
In your corner,
PS: Spoiler alert! Clearing your inbox can feel unexpectedly good. Worth the effort.