The Inbox Deception

It is seductive. You get up in the morning, pour yourself a cup of coffee, sit down in front of your computer, and suddenly you are busy.

Modern communication technology

But what are you busy doing?

Working on your agenda, supporting your goals and objectives, or supporting those of other people?

It’s so easy to confuse activity with accomplishment.

Your inbox is a fantastic productivity tool-for other people. It’s a way for them to hand off their “to do list”… to you.

This is the reason you can work hard all day, and yet reach the closing bell and wonder, “Why do I feel as though I got nothing done?”.

This is The Inbox Deception.

How do you escape it? Simple. Follow my Three Rules of Email:

  1. Check email last each day.
  2. Do not check email first each day.
  3. Refer back to rule number one.


Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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14 thoughts on “The Inbox Deception

  1. Ha. Inboxes can sometimes be the modern day equivalent of the…….”tag, you’re it” game.

    Especially when you have multiple email addresses. I’m trying to figure out a way to have only one email address or one central inbox point that could disperse email to a personal and business account.

  2. Unless we are mindful of its power, the inbox will certainly be our downful. What totally amazes me is receiving email from the person in the next cubicle.

  3. So, is this only about managing the receiving end of emails, or do you have ideas about sending as well?

    What about training others you work with on your preferred practices?

  4. Good advice for certain professionals. Some industries rely on knowledge now. But we use Twitter for that.

    The irony of the prominent ads to sign up for a copywriting guide newsletter right below. And we wonder how that email box fills up.

  5. Careful email is quickly becoming the modern day equivalent to a phone call to make the sale or gain the client you must answer the phone when it rings.

  6. Guilty of spending too much time in my inbox but I don’t think it is possible to go the entire day without checking email but can cut it down to twice a day and see how that works.

  7. This is great advice Ray. It’s like a can of Pringles, once you pop, you can’t stop. Once that inbox opens, it is like a mission to check and respond to every last one. Thank you again for your insight!