I’m planning my email vacation. No, it’s not a vacation from email, it’s a vacation for email.
I’ve got…well, thousands of unread emails in my inbox. I have well over a thousand marked for follow up. There are important, even urgent, emails in my inbox that I know I will never get to unless something about my daily schedule changes. I am working on getting rid of several of my jobs which means that yes, we’re hiring (and that’s not the full list, if you think you’re awesome and can help us, shoot me an email and tell me how), but I have a tendency to fill whatever time I have with things to be done. Can you relate?
I can rip through a ton of email if I’m not interrupted. With interruptions I can only get through perhaps 90% of the email I receive each day, which means if I get 30 important emails per day (I get a lot more than that if you include everything), I’m leaving 3 important emails per day unanswered. That’s 21 per week, or 1,092 per year, and yeah, that sounds about right for where I’m at. But if I’m uninterrupted I can get through around 400% of the important email I get each day, or 120 emails. That means I could get through a year’s worth of unanswered email in 9 days. Of course that would be assuming all the email is worth responding to. Much of it will, unfortunately, be outdated and no response will be necessary.
Now, I’ve got a few years worth of email, so let’s say I have 3,000 emails I need to process. At my 400% rate that would take 25 days of nothing but answering emails. But since many of the emails will be outdated and processed quickly, let’s say my rate will go up to 800%, making the total time investment 12.5 days. That brings us to my plan.
1. Get the business to the point where I can completely disconnect from anything to do with it, including answering new emails, for 2-3 weeks.
2. Find a tropical island with great internet, and where my wife and kids can have a great time during the day without me. I am assuming a normal 8-hour day in all my calculations, so I would be free in the evenings.
3. Process old email nonstop for 12.5 days.
4. Move on to new email received during those 12.5 days.
5. Return to civilization with inbox zero.
Any suggestions on islands with great internet and plenty of stuff for kids? Maybe a skatepark too? I’m ready to get started.
Update: No need for a vacation! I’ve succeeded in getting to inbox zero without needing to work longer hours or take a vacation. Read about it at How I Got to Inbox Zero.Liked it? Share it!