How to achieve ‘inbox zero’ in four steps

Clearing out your email takes discipline, a sincere desire for that type of austerity (there are alternatives), and a handful of tactics. Grab your digital machete, and let’s get to work.

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I love email. I can be hooked to my inbox all day on my trusty smartphone—and therefore, I love my smartphone, too.

I was not always an email-lover. More than three ago, when I was working at a day job, I barely felt the need to check my email. Only after I started on my entrepreneurial journey did I begin holding my emails dear. I am a blogger, a freelance writer, an editor, a behavioral coach, and an online marketer. I am also religious about responding to every message I can.

If you’re an entrepreneur, too, and wondering what is it with us and email, you’re not alone. To me, email is the gateway to opportunities, an exchange of stellar ideas, or a chance to help a budding job-quitter blaze the right trail. That said, at times email has become my worst enemy. For one, my partner has “caught” me checking and responding to messages on my phone in bed. At other times, my inbox has been the sole reason I’ve had near zero productivity for hours.

There was an urgent need to manage my inbox (it counted 41,377 at the time.) and keep it clear. So, I subscribed to the “inbox zero” practice, in which every day each item in your inbox must be moved to the archives, trash, or some other folder.

Here are the four simple hacks I used:

1. Be aggressive in deleting email

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