Clean Up Your Email In-Box for Good

Illustration for article titled Clean Up Your Email In-Box for Good

(The Root) — As I sit here writing this post, I have 18,672 unread messages in my email in-box. I can't even count the total number of emails — I just know that there are 793 pages of messages, with more saved in folders that were meant to get me "organized."


The issue of my email in-box crossed over into problem territory long ago, and it seems that drastic measures must be taken for me to try to regain control. I'm hoping that a 21-day program can help.

Research shows that it takes about 21 days for something to become a habit, and that's the idea behind Revive Your Inbox, a free service that aims to change the way you focus, prioritize and organize your email. Baydin, the company behind the program, specializes in email-productivity software and uses the psychology behind how our minds work to make all of its organizational products as effective as possible. Its hope is that Revive Your Inbox will help you "become the proud owner of a healthy in-box" in just under a month.   

Getting started is simple. You sign up through email (I know, I know!), and every day for 21 days you'll receive a message with a lesson that's supposed to help you acquire a new skill or strategy for managing your in-box more effectively. You designate a time each day that you'd like to receive the email, and you get a "to-do" list for that day that should never take longer than 20 minutes to complete. You also have the option of getting a daily text message as a reminder.

According to research from Baydin, the average person receives 147 email messages a day and spends about 2.5 hours reading and responding to them. That seems like a lot of wasted productivity to me, so I think it's worth a shot to try to get some of that time back. Today I start day 1. Will you join me?

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