Does an Overflowing Inbox Make You Feel Important?

These days we’re all into minimalism. Minimalist wardrobes, interiors, living and even website themes.

But why do we all seem to be obsessed with having busy email inboxes?

Think about it. How often do you hear someone lamenting over how full their inbox is, acting like they have no control over how many emails they receive, and even worse; acting like they can’t possibly delete any of them. It’s almost as if, having an overflowing inbox makes them feel important.

Back in the day, I worked for a company whose president was notorious for keeping a very minimalist inbox. In fact, he kept almost no emails in his inbox at all. When he received an email he’d act on it, then get rid of it. By act on it, I mean he’d respond to it or forward it along to someone in the company who could deal with it more appropriately. Then he’d either file it in a sub-folder or delete it. It was that simple.

Here was the most important person in the company with an almost empty inbox.

I don’t believe busy people running large companies, growing startups or active families maintain an email inbox that is overflowing with meaningless requests, newsletter subscriptions and unfinished conversations.

In a 2015 Time article, the writer references how Elon Musk masters his email inbox.

I believe those who consider themselves important know that their time is valuable. They know how to manage their days and they know how to manage their inbox. They don’t go around fake crying about their busy lives and busy inboxes. They understand that it’s not that there’s not enough time in the day, it’s more like not everything is a priority for each day.

Learn how to manage your day, your time and learn how to manage your inbox. It’s not cute or impressive to be drowning in a sea of unopened or unresolved emails.

An overflowing inbox does not mean you’re important.

In fact, it could signal that you’re overwhelmed, unorganized, indecisive and undisciplined.