Tony Hsieh’s email ‘trick’

Gather 1,000 American workers and ask them this question: How many of you feel like you can adequately manage your email?  My guess is that nearly all would say that they cannot. There are too many emails.

Well, Tony Hsieh of Zappos has found a way to solve the problem…for him. You can watch him describe the “trick” in this video. (, with an annoying, mandatory ad before Tony speaks.)

What is his trick? He doesn’t answer today’s emails today. He answers yesterday’s emails today. Today’s emails? He’ll get to those tomorrow.

What does that system accomplish?

  • One of the most annoying things about email is that they just keep coming. But not yesterday’s emails. They stopped at midnight. So when Tony attacks his in-box, there’s a finite number of emails, and he knows when he’s gone through them.
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