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Dread Opening Your Inbox? There's A New Approach To Embracing All Those Emails


Let's face it. Email can be exhausting - the notification, the replies, the dreaded reply-alls and so much spam. Here's how a couple of people around NPR deal with their inboxes.

UNIDENTIFIED NPR EMPLOYEE #1: I manage my inbox by filing and deleting emails religiously. If I have more than 5 unreads, I get major anxiety about it.

UNIDENTIFIED NPR EMPLOYEE #2: I follow the Marie Kondo method of it either sparks joy or it gets thrown out. So that's how I treat my email.

UNIDENTIFIED NPR EMPLOYEE #3: I wouldn't say that I always get to Inbox Zero. But every once in a while, I get to Inbox Zero.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Oh, that dreaded Inbox Zero. But this week, we heard about a new, intriguing approach to try in 2019 - inbox infinity. In a recent piece in The Atlantic, tech writer Taylor Lorenz argues, in 2019, you should lose the zero and embrace the Zen. Let all those emails flooding your inbox wash over you. Respond to what you can, and ignore the rest. Key to inbox infinity - telling close contacts and family that your email replies might be slow in coming - if at all - as well as alternative ways to reach you. It's that easy. Or maybe not, depending on how email-dependent your boss, your colleagues and your best friend, your mom and your husband are. As for me, I've apparently been embracing inbox infinity for years without knowing it. And let me tell you, it feels great. Don't expect a reply anytime soon.

(SOUNDBITE OF ZONY MASH'S "MEET THE ZONY MASH") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Lulu Garcia-Navarro is the host of Weekend Edition Sunday and one of the hosts of NPR's morning news podcast Up First. She is infamous in the IT department of NPR for losing laptops to bullets, hurricanes, and bomb blasts.