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Inbox detox

The notification showing how many unread emails one has can drive a person crazy. After an afternoon filled with meetings, you can turn on your computer and there it is, that notification telling you how much you still need to do. And that’s just one of the many places demanding your attention. It’s incredible the mental toll that a simple badge on your inbox icon can create. I’ve even worked with people who have thousands of unread emails. I notice this when doing screen-sharing meetings.

In Christina Randle’s book Getting It Together, she lays out her proprietary system for moving from survival mode to thriving. She calls it The Effective Edge. Our lives are filled with clutter, interruptions and important information to which we must pay attention. Technology, thought to help, has increased the information we are bombarded with. According to Randle, getting The Effective Edge™ involves:

E – Emptying – Your inbox, voicemail and desktop are all collection points that can gather information and clutter. Randle suggests that we empty daily.

D – Deciding – In order to empty you need the ability to make quick decisions. Randle says the process is the four Ds:





G – Grouping – Grouping tasks that are similar allows you to handle them more quickly.

E – Executing – Randle suggests we all want to spend more time accomplishing things. To do this, we must ensure a seamless system of reducing clutter, making decisions and grouping.

Admittedly, this all sounds easy, and everyone is different. The key is to find a system that works for you. I try to end every day with zero emails in my inbox. Let’s just say that some days are better than others. As you continue down your journey of minimizing distractions and maximizing productivity, you might consider starting first with your email inbox and your voicemail. Imagine how great it would be to end your day with no voicemail to listen to or emails yet to be read. All were deleted, done, delegated or filed for future action.

Jeff Schmidt is the SVP of Professional Development. You can reach him at You can all so connect with him on X and LinkedIn.

Source: Jeff Schmidt, SVP of Professional Development