Habit Two: Getting Your Inbox to Zero

Scanning is not processing. What do we mean by that? Well, many people get into the habit of scanning email throughout the day, opening and closing messages without taking action. This not only wastes time, but can be mentally draining. The 4 D Model is a proven approach for unsticking emails and getting your inbox to zero quickly and easily.

Building Your Habit

  1. Block calendar time each work day for email processing. For most people, a 30-minute block at the beginning and end of day works well for dedicated email processing time. While you’ll still likely process email throughout the day as needed, these blocks of time give you focused time for driving your inbox back down to zero.
  2. Use the 4 Ds to process each email. Ask yourself: can I delete it, do it now in less than two minutes, delegate it to someone else, or defer it to my calendar or tasks to do later?

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