Getting the email in-box down to ZERO!

Real Estate Agent with Century 21 Cahill Associates

Has anyone ever attempted the insurmountable task of trying to completely empty their email in-box?  I can remember exactly two times I've done it with my work email and how great it felt to be able to respond to everyone, read all the listing updates, complete all those small tasks, etc.  I almost got there again a couple weeks ago when I got down to only two messages, but then it filled up again.  I was soooo close! 

Today, I'm determined that I can do it again.  As of this morning, I have 51 emails in my in-box and the only appointments I have thus far are at 10:00 and 6:00.  If I can get rid of one email every five minutes, I'll have them all out in just over 4 hours, which leaves me tons of extra time for other things, should they come up!

inboxI'm starting at 10:41 and will keep tabs on how I'm doing in this blog and then I'll post it at the end of the day or when my in-box is empty, whichever happens first.

12:20:  I seem to be on a good pace.  I was getting rid of an email about every 5 minutes or so with a few interruptions that slowed me down.  I had gotten down to about 35 when a few emails came in that I had to get rid of of well. 

One of them being from an agent telling me that my buyer was not approved by the co-op board he was hoping to buy into.  That sparked quite a few phone calls and emails that slowed me down, but I'm over it now, and hopefully we can keep the deal together somehow.

2:02:  I'm already half-way there!  I have 25 messages in my in-box and things are going well.  Lunch slowed me down a little, but I'm still on a great pace!  I have not gotten a ton of new emails that are just sitting there.  Mostly being cc'ed on stuff, so that I can move those right into their respective transaction files.  I think I may be able to do it!!!

2:20:  The scroll bar is gone!!!  This happens in my Century 21 email account when there are 22 or less messages in my in-box and I just got there with the deletion of a three-word email I had from a buyer that I did NOT need in my in-box collecting digital dust.

2:41:  Just got rid of a bunch in succession, trying to make up for the time I lost at lunch, etc.  Only 10 to go!  I may do a few other things I've been putting off while cleaning out my in-box.

3:12: Now I still have only ten emails, and have to step out real quick and look at a client's house!  Unexpected delay, but in a good way.

4:54:  Just got back from looking at the home and of course it took a lot longer than I thought.  I now have 15 messages in my in-box!  The goal is to get them all out before my 6:00 appointment, which I need to leave at 5:50 from my office.  Time to get it done!

5:27:  I feel so close!  There are only 4 to go.  The procrastination monster is trying to creep its way in and tell me that I can get to them after my 6:00 and before my 7:00.  Or better yet, later on tonight when I'm at home after track practice when I should be relaxing and eating dinner.  NO!  I'll do them now and get it over with!

5:47:  I DID IT!!!  There is a note in my in-box that reads: "There are no messages".  I have such a feeling of relief!  Good thing I didn't have many appointments today.  It would not have happened otherwise.

The big question is how long will this last for?  A day?  Two?  Forever???  I doubt it, but I got it done for one day. 

The next thing I have to catch up on is my leads in Top Producer!  If I print off an activity list, it's 11 pages long!  That's over 100 leads I'm behind on!  I think I've only ever caught up on that once in the year or so that I've had Top Producer.  Well, it's something to shoot for.  Maybe when I have a slow day next week, I'll tackle it.  Don't worry!  I'll make sure to blog about it as well!

Posted by

Thanks for reading!

David Cahill
Century 21 Cahill Associates
cell 781-910-6506



Facebook  twitter

Comments (9)

Lori Gilmore
Baird & Warner Real Estate - Joliet, IL
Realtor - Will County Illinois

Should I send you a contact via AR?  Right to your inbox it will go!  

I am not brave enough to face the ghosts that lurk in my inbox. . .Maybe someday!

May 18, 2010 11:12 AM
Aaron Silverman, Bluewater Property Management, LLC and Lowcountry Turnkey Properties, LLC - Charleston, SC
Improving Real Estate Experience through Education

My favorite - "2:20:  The scroll bar is gone!!!"  That is always a great feeling, because you know you are so close.  Once I month I try to clean out my inbox; however, it never reaches zero.  I have 4 inboxes I check daily.  I hope to get there soon. 

For me, the problem seems to be something else always pops up, and reading and responding to emails does not seem that important.  However, it is very important, because emails become lost in the shuffle, and the email I could lose is a potential renter for a property (which has happened). 

You have motivated me.  This Sunday all 4 emails less than 10 each.  Zero is too high of a goal, but I will try. 


May 18, 2010 11:19 AM
David Cahill
Century 21 Cahill Associates - Boston, MA

Lori:  Thanks!  Since I get the comments sent to my email, it went there anyways!  Yours is one of SIX new emails I got while I was out doing a final walk-through just now.

Aaron:  Glad I could help with the motivation.  Hope it works out for you.  Comment here and let us know how you did!

May 18, 2010 11:44 AM
William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

The last time my E-mail was at zero...7 years ago when I first opened it!

May 18, 2010 02:48 PM
Elizabeth Bolton
RE/MAX Destiny Real Estate Cambridge, MA - Cambridge, MA
Cambridge MA Realtor

Hi David ~ Only a disaster would clear out my inbox. I've got thousands of emails in my inbox - including 100s (maybe 1000s - I can't remember the current tally) unread. Plus 1000s more in folders. It's the archivist in me.

What do you do with the emails? Simply delete them? Nothing is worthy of saving?  Different strokes I guess.


May 18, 2010 03:30 PM
David Cahill
Century 21 Cahill Associates - Boston, MA

William: Too funny!  It's like that for my personal accounts at yahoo and gmail.

Liz:  I have folders for all the transactions I'm working on and once I have either acted on (if I needed to) or read the email, I can move it there.  I usually get rid of them after a year or so after that. 


May 18, 2010 03:52 PM
Charles Stallions
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services - Pensacola, FL
800-309-3414 - Pensacola, Pace or Gulf Breeze, Fl.

I empty mine everyday before leaving the office as well as following up with the ones sent the day before. No e-mail is over 7days old at any given time.

May 18, 2010 04:23 PM
Charita Cadenhead
eXp Realty - Birmingham, AL
Serving Jefferson and Shelby Counties (Alabama)

I'm not brave enough to attempt this.  Besides, I'd have to take a vacation just to accomplish it.

May 19, 2010 01:33 AM
Russel Ray, San Diego Business & Marketing Consultant & Photographer
Russel Ray - San Diego State University, CA

That's funny. My inbox is empty almost all the time since whenever I get an email, I deal with it. Ever since I joined Facebook a month ago, my spam box has been inundated with junk emails. I used to get about 20 a day, and after joining Facebook I'm getting about 60 a day.

Jun 01, 2010 07:52 PM