Like you, Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky were once obsessed with inbox zero. These former Googlers — who now call themselves "recovering email addicts" — once saw deleting email as the "hallmark of productivity." Knapp, at one point, even developed an email management class at Google to train hundreds of his coworkers on the "virtues of an empty inbox."
Eventually the two technologists came to a difficult realization: getting to inbox zero was actually getting in the way of their real priorities.
"We were supposed to be clearing it out of the way so that we could do our work, but instead, on most days, email was the work. It was a vicious cycle: The faster we replied, the more replies we got back and the more we strengthened the expectation of immediate responses," Knapp and Zeratsky write in their newly released book, "Make Time: How to Focus on What Matters Every Day."
It's a widespread problem. Studies show Millennials and Gen Z are obsessed with reaching inbox zero, a habit that takes hours and hours each day.
Knapp and Zeratsky — who spent years designing some of today's most "addictive tech services," including Gmail and YouTube — realized they had become victims of their own products and routines.