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Damn Inbox - I'm Not Doing Anything Else Until It's Empty

It's 2:57PM local time in Saigon. I have some tea, some fruit, and I am in a comfortable spot. I will not leave this room until my inbox is empty.

I always keep it pretty low, but I got ~20,000 visitors over the last few weeks. Even answering more than half the email I was getting each day, my inbox is now built up to a staggering 73 messages, many of which require 5-10 minutes or more to process. (If they average 5 minutes each, I'll be here for the next six hours.)

I keep meaning to do this, but slagging it off. Hence, I make a public commitment. Burning the boats, as it were.

My general plan -

1. I have some Google Alerts built up - some of them got pretty long with links. I try to reach out to people to say thanks and hi and see who is linking here, so I've let these stack up. The first thing I'll do is copy them all down into another document, and then I can contact later or not.

One 4 hour work week

On Mike Dariano

Successful people may be a bit delusional. It's coming out that Steve Jobs felt he was in some ways special and I think this is something you find on a personal - or professional - way in many successful people. One such person is Tim Ferriss, author of the book The Four Hour Work Week. Without getting into too much of what he says in the book I decided to try his suggested "Media Fast" where I check email only twice a day, allow myself one hour of leisure reading and one hour of television each day, read no newspapers, blogs, tweets or allow any undo web surfing. Here are my thoughts on how it went.

Monday 4PM - I'm beginning my media fast and it seems like it won't be too much of a problem, my inbox is down to four emails that I can deal with later. Shutting my laptop makes me feel free and allows me to get dinner ready.

Monday 7PM - My old iPhone has binged three times, I feel like Pavlov's dog looking for a treat. I wonder when the iPhone email ding will occupy the same space as AOL's you've got mail.

Monday 11PM - I spent two hours working on some projects instead of reading a book I had gotten from the library and feel better for it. I really enjoy reading non-fiction but I won't remember even the best written stuff if I don't talk about it. Which often doesn't happen.

Tuesday 6AM - Normally I crack open my laptop for some news and "undo web surfing". Instead I write in my journal and get ready for the day with a nice breakfast. By doing this I'm more prepared for my kids when they get up.

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