Get a New Inbox and Free Your Mind

It's the beginning of the year - are you still mired in your cluttered inbox? By archiving your yearly backlog and starting fresh, you can clear your mind for a brand new start. Get-It-Done Guy explains how.

Stever Robbins
4-minute read
Episode #344

Since this is the start of a new year, do something radical.

A few nights ago, I decided to try a new email service. I use a popular service that rose to prominence because it offered a lot of free storage. In return, I've given it permission to read and scan every single email I send and receive, analyze those emails, build a profile of me, and sell that profile to marketers. They have a privacy policy, which I read very carefully. It is a gorgeous, beautiful policy. It sounds like the best example of "Don't be evil" you've ever read...

Except for the teeny, tiny, little, almost insignificant three sentences that essentially say "We don't have to honor anything in this policy if it would be inconvenient for us and we reserve the right to share everything about you with anyone we want, without notifying you, at our complete discretion." As one of the only 3 people in the world who have actually read their privacy policy carefully, you can imagine that I'm less than thrilled.

So I decided to try out FastMail.com. My friends had raved about its speed and convenience. Plus it's located in a country that respects privacy (aka, Australia) and isn't subject to laws that require it to hand over my entire life's communication to shadowy government agencies with no warrant, without any notice to me.

Turn off email notifications and schedule times to check your inbox.

I'll spare you the raves about their service. Let's just say that for $40/year, I actually get technical support, great performance, documentation that isn't a hodge podge of mediocre web pages and support forums to wade through, a web app that looks like a competent programmer and UI designer spent time working on it, a mobile app that's speedy and easy to use, and privacy. Yay!

But the most unexected benefit was the actual switch of providers.

Emptiness Is Bliss

You see, when I fired up FastMail for the first time, my new inbox was empty. Yes, that's right. Empty. I don't think I recall a truly empty email inbox in living memory. My inbox was empty. My new "to be dealt with later" folder was empty. Everything was empty. It felt wonderful!

So the moral of the story is - if you have messages in your inbox, delete them. Yeah, just like that. Empty your inbox. I had 3,000 messages in my old provider's inbox. My new inbox had none. Empty yours. Then just stare at it for a few minutes. Feel the power, the energy, and the renewed sense of life that courses through your bloodstream. And perhaps even more importantly, notice how free your mind feels. If you're like me, you'll actually feel your creativity, resourcefulness, and energy expanding.


About the Author

Stever Robbins

Stever Robbins was the host of the podcast Get-it-Done Guy from 2007 to 2019. He is a graduate of W. Edward Deming’s Total Quality Management training program and a Certified Master Trainer Elite of NLP. He holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School and a BS in Computer Sciences from MIT.