January 4, 2010 is a historical day in my whole career life. As the first working day of year 2010, I found my Inbox is empty. ZERO EMAIL. This is something that had never happened in my 12 years of career life. And I have to thank David Allen's Getting Things Done for this.
I know you might think that I could just archive all email, or move it to all archive copy. But no... I had diligently review all my email from November and December 2009, and found by the end of the day I had zero email in my inbox.
As a background, I usually received around 30-50 emails per day in my office inbox; and I had never done a complete swap on my email. My habit -- a very bad one, i know -- was giving a quick glance over the incoming mails and selected only those that I thought interesting or important to answer. Sometime even if the emails are important, I had a tendency to put on hold the emails that coming from people that I'm afraid of. I was afraid to make mistakes in answering them, and the result was I didn't answer at all. I also had not filed the emails in folders. There are times that I did that, but after sometimes, I gave up.
The result of my bad habits, I had thousands of emails starting from 2004. Around 25% had not been opened at all; 35% were opened but had not been answered and 40% were answered. So how could I zeroed my inbox?