Faster Than 20

experiment platform

Monthly Inbox Zero – 1

July 2, 2018 – October 5, 2018
Photo by antifluor. CC BY 2.0.

How might we...

  • How might I reduce my experience of overwhelm and anxiety when dealing with big complex projects or too many projects?
    • How might I better manage my email?


Two months of Inbox Zero a month at a time will enable me to get a handle on my email overall.



  • Better follow-through
  • Better prioritization
  • Manage overwhelm / anxiety

This is basically a test in chunking email management. Rather than DMZ my email (which I’ve tried before), I’m committing to being at Inbox Zero at the end of each month for that month and the previous month only. In other words, by August 1, 2018, I should have zero emails from June and July 2018 in my inbox.

This not only means I’m caught up for that month, but it also means I’m gradually shrinking my inbox (versus doing Monthly Inbox Zero only, which would keep my inbox at more or less its current size).

I’ll try this for three months to see how it goes.


At the beginning of each month, measure and record inbox size for previous two months. First record is the baseline.

At the end of three months, how close am I to Inbox Zero for the previous six months?

Potential things to track in the future:

  • Inbox size continuously
  • Overwhelm / anxiety
  • Followthrough / prioritization


I didn’t achieve total Inbox Zero for the months I did this, but I did zero out some months, and my inbox has been manageable for the first time ever really.

I think this is Yet Another Example of how tracking (in combination with goal-setting) is a powerful change agent.


Continue this through the end of the year.



  1. The good thing about this experiment is that it’s made me much more conscious about pruning my email. July was a tough month for me. With the 2.0 launch of the DIY Strategy / Culture toolkits as well as the launch of my coaching workshops, I got a lot of email, and wasn’t able to zero out this month. On the upside, my April and May inboxes both shrunk substantially, and my June inbox went to zero.


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Accountable Eugene
Team Eugene
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Modified February 19, 2019


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