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Today we’ll be discussing if it’s possible to achieve inbox zero.

If you’re wondering what inbox zero is, it’s basically having zero emails in your inbox. And we’re talking about both your personal and work emails here.

But why is this important?

Did you know that reading and replying to emails depletes your energy? For every message you open up and reply to, you’re using energy from your daily reserve.

Energy that could be used to be productive in other areas of your work and life.

So achieving inbox zero may help. But can you really take control of your emails?

You can’t stop people from emailing you, right?

Well, yes, you can.

And that’s exactly what we’ll journey through together in these 3 ways to get closer to inbox nirvana (because inbox zero isn’t possible for everyone, including me).

3 ways to get closer to inbox nirvana

I don’t think I’ll ever achieve inbox zero. I like to keep email conversations that I’m actively involved in in my inbox. I’d forget about them if I filed them. Having them there when I open my emails is a good reminder of what I’m working on.

That’s why I know I can’t achieve inbox zero. But accepting that helps me move closer to inbox nirvana. Here are 3 ways to help you get there yourself:

1. Subscriptions

Take a look at the number next to the little envelope on your emails. You know, the one that tells you how many unopened emails you have.

Is it above 100? Over 1,000?

Don’t be embarrassed. The average person has 1,602 unread emails in their inbox.

There’s no way you can clear those unread emails (unless you take a week off work to go through them). But there is something you can do to take control.

Take a look at your subscriptions. Do you know how many people or companies you are subscribed to?

Now think about how many you actually read. Grab a pen and paper right now and make a list of the people you know you’ve subscribed to. The ones that offer value with the content they send.

Now comes the easy part. Unsubscribe from every person or company you didn’t list on that paper. Just click unsubscribe at the top or bottom of the next email you get from them.

This simple trick will help tidy up and control your inbox.

2. Create response templates

Do you find yourself writing the same or similar responses to different people?

I found myself providing the same response to employment law clients and HR colleagues.

So I came up with an amazing solution to save me time and energy with my work emails. I took a few minutes to create email templates with standard responses.  Whether it was an introductory email or a response to confirm receipt of a case I could respond in a matter of seconds, file and remove the email from my inbox.

You only need to set aside half an hour to create your standard responses and save them to use in future.

3. Make folders and organising rules

Did you know you can set rules for where incoming emails go? They don’t have to go straight to your inbox.

All email providers have different ways to set these rules. But they all allow you to do the same thing.

Say you have emails coming in from one company but you know you don’t need to respond or look at these until the last week of the month. Instead of them cluttering up your inbox, you can set a rule to send them directly to a dedicated folder. Then in the last week of the month, you can go into this folder and retrieve the emails you need.

It’s an automated way to keep your inbox clutter-free and clean.

A cleaner inbox uses less energy and clears your mind for increased productivity. So you can stay focussed on the task you need to be focused on.

Try these 3 inbox hacks to help you get closer to inbox nirvana and keep your inbox at zero.