Beat e-mail overload once and for all by emptying your inbox completely and keeping it that way. The "Inbox Zero" philosophy says that e-mail messages are just calls to action-not clutter that ws: need to hang on to. Create three folders or labels in your e-mail client: Action, Later, and Archive. Each day when you check your e-mail, make a decision and do something with every new message you've received until you've moved them all out of your inbox and reduced your message count to zero.

Ruthlessly delete the messages you don't need to preserve, on the spot. Respond to the ones that you can answer in less than 2 minutes each. File messages that you want to keep for future reference in the Archive folder; put those that will take longer than 2 minutes to reply to in Action (and add those to-do items to your list); and move messages that you need to follow up on at a subsequent date (such as Amazon shipment notifications) in Later. Then breathe a sigh of relief when you see that glorious declaration: 'You have no new mail.'