Mark did something incredible just minutes ago: He got to inbox zero in his work email.
I think I might have achieved this once, at least 12 years ago. But it was fleeting and never to happen again. Even as my emails slow to a trickle, and with that the realization that our careers as we know them are really and truly ending, I still know that inbox zero is not happening for me before we wrap things up in a few weeks. Because I decided years ago that that was not important to me. I respond to the notes that need responding (sometimes verrrrrrrry slowly when it’s not for work, because toomanythings), but then I don’t stress about whether I’ve properly filed or deleted all the remaining notes.
That’s a boundary I set for myself long ago, that I wouldn’t spend time on things that didn’t ultimately affect my productivity or the productivity of my teams, and I’d almost call it a survival skill more than a boundary. When I’m getting up at 3:30 AM to catch a 5:30 AM flight, rushing to a 9 AM meeting, presenting for an hour or two, grabbing client lunch, meeting another client, getting back on a plane and flying home late at night, I’ve got to focus on the parts of my work that actually benefit my clients — and that let me get at least a little bit of sleep. The nonessential emails that come in while I’m on those flights or in those meetings? I could spend hours deleting them, or I could just let them be. The latter takes less time, so I chose that.
Now, on the verge of our next life, we’re contemplating a new set of boundaries. New opportunities are starting to arise, and many of them