Email Isn’t Really Getting Things Done

Photo by Jurgen Appelo

I love the satisfaction of having an empty email inbox. And I used to spend hours making sure I got there multiple times a day.

What I have figured out, though, is that processing email isn’t really getting things done.

Email is just a way for other people to add things to my task list. And yet I will happily go in and do all those things – ignoring the important stuff on my plate.

The satisfaction comes from dropping all those email in to the trash. It feels productive because I am making things disappear – I no longer have to worry about them.

But ultimately, it’s not about how many emails I process. There is not a single one of my goals that involves email in any sort – and still I spend an inordinate amount of time in email.

So if I want to truly make progress on my goals, I need to put the email aside. And get stuff done that really does matter.

Photo by Jurgen Appelo


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