One inbox

I’m obsessed with productivity. As a Type A personality, who is learning to control and embrace my obsessive-compulsiveness, I need something to keep me on track.

Most of us know the Big Rocks approach. If your tasks were rocks, you’d fill a jar with the bigger ones first. Every evening, I identify what my Big Rocks were, if I accomplished them and what my Big Rocks for tomorrow are.

Then come the Smaller Rocks. For me, the most important “second tier” task is Inbox Zero. I hate those little, red dots showing up on my iPhone. It’s a reminder that something is unfinished or something new has come up.

In the process of simplifying the Inbox Zero process, I’ve moved to one inbox. Every piece of email goes to the same place. And every piece of outgoing comes from the same address.

I realized this is how everything should operate.

I had half a dozen styles of coffee makers, now I drink from a single one. I had folders and folders and folder (desktop and physical), now I’m done to one. I had separate legal pads and journals for each class, now I use one. I had four and five books going at the same time and it took me weeks to finish each, now I’m powering through one every few days.

One Inbox isn’t just an email solution. It’s a lifestyle.

More than one of anything, outside car wheels and socks, is a waste. And a nuisance. And a distractor.

Steve Jobs wore the same thing to work everyday: black turtle neck and jeans. My favorite coffee shop in Waco has one size: 10 ounces. Learning to dribble a basketball is far easier than learning to juggle.

This especially relates back to our passions.

Sure, pursue medicine and missions. The world needs medical missionaries. Pursue dancing and poetry. One can easily fuel the other. Pursue singing and playing guitar. Jimmy Swaggart is a phinomenal singing and performer.

Dual-specializing is a great way to make a difference in the world. But, if you want to make a dent, I’m convinced you need focus. Solid, one-way, obsessive focus.