Reclaim Your Sanity with ʺYesterboxʺ

Email is a never-ending treadmill. There’s never a sense of completion and it leads to stress.

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That’s how Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, felt.

So we started experimenting with an email management technique which worked out surprisingly well for him: the “Yesterbox”.

Here are the details of the Yesterbox technique:

  1. Your “to do” list each day is simply yesterday’s email inbox

  2. If it can wait 48 hours without causing harm, then you are not allowed to respond to any emails that come in today, even if it’s a simple one-word reply

  3. File emails from yesterday that take more than 10 minutes to respond to a folder and schedule a time on your calendar in the future to respond, as if it were a meeting

  4. Set a recurring appointment to go through yesterday’s inbox every day

  5. If you need to refer to an email later (for example, to follow up), schedule a meeting on your calendar and file the email into another folder

  6. If you fall behind and have emails that are older than yesterday’s inbox (yes, it still happens), schedule additional time

  7. For emails that can wait and have no real deadline, send those emails to another email address, such as your personal email address. For emails that are notes, send them to Evernote or Notion and remove them from your inbox