Occasionally, far less often than I should, I take part in the #2pmproject. The 2pm project is when I empty my email inbox. It’s a ha-ha-only-serious name for an email dash. I must be clear: it’s not my name for this idea — I stole it from Jason Downs.
Some people take great pleasure in declaring, “inbox zero” on twitter. But, as Merlin has repeatedly reminded us, it’s not about the zero, it’s about the process and what you learn by following it:
But you tell me; as you’ve worked to get to “zero,” did you notice anything interesting or useful? Any patterns emerge? Any unexpected thematic repetitions show up? Any unusual behaviors take shape as you got into the groove? Because, given the large sample set of unanswered messages most of us have to begin with, it’s typical to reach a few telling conclusions about email’s role in your life.
Why does this matter, on my blog about research and design and design research? Because it’s so easy to get stuck dealing with email (and twitter and mediated social interactions) rather than doing the work that matters. Today, thanks to the 2pm project, I came into work, met a colleague for coffee, reviewed a PhD student’s first attempt at analysing interviews, sent a paper draft to a colleague, wrote a brief proposal draft for another colleague to adapt and then dealt with my email.
I’m not saying this will work for you. I’m saying it works for me. But, maybe, if email is a problem for you, maybe you should look into Inbox Zero and start your own 2pm project.