The Inbox Zero Challenge

(Last Updated On: April 21, 2017)

Here is a challenge I issued to my staff this past week.  I wonder how many will take the challenge.  

The Inbox Zero Challenge:  
Can you do it?



Can you lower your teacher stress by clearing your inbox
AND maintain it in 4 easy steps.

How many emails do you have in your inbox?  If you are like me,  
it is a great, big number and you are constantly re-reading, losing, forgetting…..
the contents of these emails.  
Your inbox grows and grows and grows…
every day and soon becomes unmanageable.  
The goal of this challenge is to end everyday with your inbox at ZERO!
Here is the theory and practice……

Step 1:  Clear out your emails.  This does not mean just delete your entire inbox.  Set a block of time away, grab and snack and/or beverage of choice and begin the process.

Step 2:  Create folders.  Create folders in your email.  Here is a video on how to do that in GroupWise.

One schema that may support Inbox Zero thinking is to create at least these three folders:
    • Read for later (emails that can be read at your leisure)
    • Action (Emails that you must take care of today or this week)
    • Awaiting a Response (Items that you are waiting for a response, but will need to follow up on)

Step 3:  Begin to sort and sift through your emails.  Look at your emails and then, you have six options.
  1. Reply and delete
  2. Reply and move to a folder in order to reference later.
  3. Delete
  4. Move to the task or to do folder, and add any necessary notes to your task or to do list, reply if necessary
  5. Place the date on your calendar (of a meeting or event) and delete email
  6. Place the date on your calendar, and move the email to a folder for future reference.

Step 4:  If an email requires future action,  make a note in our notebook, calendar or task/to do list, especially when it is a task that will take you more than two minutes.  If more than two minutes, put the task on your task list.  If a task / to do list does not match your organizational style, create a folder… maybe called Urgent TO DO?  

  • Reduces stress by being proactive with your email
  • Saves time by being very efficient
  • Improves parent and staff PR by replying to emails quickly
  • Improves your organization and reduces the number of emails that you inadvertently miss in your email
  • If you fail to move emails to folders, the task list, or your calendar, you can lose important information
  • In your desire to get to an empty inbox, you can fail to give emails proper attention.

Take the Challenge.  
Show me your inbox zero & receive a prize for your efforts
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