I Thought ‘Inbox Zero’ Mattered

It turns out all I get is a sense of superiority.

I have been a firm believer in ‘Inbox Zero’, for years. It’s really worked for me. I would get pretentious and judgemental whenever I saw anyone’s phone with a red label with a huge number on it.

My original thesis for this post was:

“People with 10 or less emails in their inbox are 5X more likely to make over 100k a year.”

So, I set out to prove it. I did a ‘Google Consumer Survey’ targeting “Small/Medium Business Owners and Managers” in the United States. I fully expected the results to support my thesis.

My Survey of Small/Medium Business Owners and Managers

I set up my Google survey to question 200 anonymous business owners and managers. Not very scientific, but stick with me. I asked them how many emails they had in their inbox and what their annual income was.

I set up my survey and pretentiously waited for the data to prove I was better than everyone else.

The results came in. I was so annoyed. I briefly considered lying to the internet. Just reversing the results to support my original thesis. I don’t know why I cared so much about my precious empty inbox.

Results from my Google Survey

It turns out Inbox Zero doesn’t matter.

You are statistically likely to make more money the more emails you have in your inbox.

That’s what my research shows at least. Completely the opposite of what I set out to prove. The people who make the least amount of money have the cleanest inboxes.

I would love someone to prove my research wrong. I just don’t have enough money to throw at another google consumer survey. Maybe I should just let my inbox fill up with emails. After all, the more emails I have in there the more likely I am to make more money.

The real lesson is that I need to be less judgmental. With others and with myself. I probably need to focus more on things that matter instead of being so concerned with my empty inbox.

That’s not to say inbox zero can’t work well for some. I still think it’s a great idea. But, I’ll probably be less of a jerk about it. With others and myself.

To all of those I have judged and belittled, I am sorry.

I guess I won’t be getting that tattoo of Inbox’s empty inbox sun icon I wanted.

Thanks for reading! — Speaking of inbox zero…

if you aren’t on my email list you probably should be.