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Eliminate Extra Inboxes

CJ Chilvers
CJ Chilvers
1 min read

There’s a lot of productivity advice out there about what to do to organize and process your many inboxes. But the best rule is often forgotten: have as few of them as possible.

Inboxes are input. Every added inbox is a new firehose of information for people already drowning in information.

Anxious people usually become anxious because of overwhelm and/or overthinking. There may be underlying reasons, but the overwhelm can sometimes be treated practically by cutting back on sources of input.

For example, we nerds like RSS. It’s an easy way to organize and process all the blogs and publications we love, and be completionists at the same time. But RSS is also an added inbox in our lives.

Dave Pell, creator of the ultra-popular newsletter NextDraft, reads news sites all day to compile his daily newsletter summarizing the news. Everyone assumed he did this using RSS to be as efficient and productive as possible. But he doesn’t. He just visits each site, one-by-one, takes in the info he finds interesting and moves on.

It’s his job to scour news sites, and even he doesn’t need RSS. It turns out, the old-fashioned bookmark does a pretty great job of keeping track of what you want to see without filling yet another inbox in your life.

How many inboxes do you have? How many could you eliminate today?

This is part of a 30-day challenge to blog about anxiety. See all the posts.