530: Inbox Insanity? Archive All Your Emails Now!

12.15.2020 - By The Startup Chat with Steli and Hiten

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In today’s episode of the startup chat, Steli and Hiten talk about why you should archive all your emails now.

Email is one of the most common ways of communication in the startup world, and a lot of founders receive thousands of messages in their inbox. It goes without saying that managing your email is a crucial part of running a successful business and your life.

In today’s episode, Steli and Hiten talk about why your inbox is not a prison, how responding to all emails can be counterproductive, Hiten’s relationship with email and much more.

Time Stamped Show Notes:

00:00 About today’s topic.

00:37 Why this topic was chosen.

03:23 Why your inbox is not a prison.

04:48 Why you don’t have to respond to every email.

05:15 How responding to all emails can be counterproductive.

06:16 How there are better ways to manage your life than through email.

06:40 How email is still very commonly used.

07:12 Hiten’s relationship with email.

07:40 Tips to help you manage your email.

08:41 Why email shouldn’t stress you out.

3 Key Points:

Your inbox is not a prison.This idea that you have to respond to every email is ridiculous.There are better ways to manage your life than through email.

Steli Efti: Hey everybody, this is Steli Efti.
Hiten Shah: And this is Hiten Shah.
Steli Efti: And today on the startup chat, we're going to talk about a piece of advice that I gave to somebody recently, which is, archive all your emails right now, you don't have to respond to a single one of them. So I want to frame this and share the story, and then I'm really curious, Hiten, what your response and comment is going to be on this. Here's the deal, here's the story. Recently, I was talking to somebody and he was super stressed out. He was telling me, "Listen Steli, I just took a vacation, just came back, my inbox is a mess, there's all these emails in my inbox, I have the super important priorities that I need to tackle, and then there's all these other projects, it's just too much right now. I feel my anxiety is on 20 from a scale of 1 to 10. I'm trying to manage this, it's been a week since I've been back and I'm struggling. What should I do?" And there's a lot of nuance in this conversation, a lot of things that I'll put to the side, but one of the pieces of advice that I gave him was, I talked to him a little bit about his inbox. And I asked him, "How many times do you check your inbox right now?" And he was like, "To be honest, every couple of minutes." I'm like, "Do you always respond to an email when you check your inbox?" He was like, "No, right now it's just so bad. I look at my inbox and I feel terrible and I leave again. But then I have to check it again to see if there's something new in there or if I find the focus and the flow and the energy to start tackling some of them." I was like, "All right. How many emails did you get your vacation?" He's like, "You know, it's not," and that was the interesting part, "It's not that many. Maybe I have 50 emails or so." I'm like, "Okay, cool. How many emails in your inbox do you have that are older than a month?" And he was like, "I don't know, a couple of hundred." I'm like, "All right, try this. Just go to everything that's older than two weeks ago and just archive all of it. Just archive it." And he was like, "What if there's something important in there?" And I told him, "If it's that important, you should know about it and remember it, or it will pop up again because somebody is going to follow up or somebody is going to respond to some kind of a threat. More likely than not, especially with emails that are older than a month, if you have not responded in a month, you're not going to respond in three months. I'm sure there's emails in your inbox that are six months old. What are they doing there other than stressing you? You're not going to respond and it doesn't matter anymore. Just archive all of it. Don't worry,

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