5 Things Only ‘Inbox Zero’ Girls Will Understand
“Inbox zero” girl — if you don’t identify as one, you probably know one. This is the girl who spends half her life clearing out her inbox, the girl who might seem like a slave to her phone to the outside world. But in reality, she’s just Type A and really, really organized. These are the modern-day Monica Gellers. And if you’re an inbox zero girl like us, then you’ll definitely relate to these five things.
1. You’re borderline-obsessed with email labels.
You’ve probably created at least 20 different labels to sort and filter your emails. The sad part is that out of those 20 labels, you use less than half of them on a regular basis. Some of your labels are super specific, like “Vegetarian Indian Food Recipies” or “Pictures of Cats Wearing Top Hats” — both of which likely contain only two to four emails. You’re aware that your compulsive need to label every single email isn’t normal, so much so that you’d feel embarrassed if people found out about it — so you hide your inbox from the world.
2. You have a maniac need to reply to all emails ASAP.
Even just thinking about not replying to an email as soon as you get it gives you anxiety. Whether it’s your boss or your dentist who’s trying to reach you, you have an incessant need to get back to everyone immediately — no exceptions. In the back of your mind, you know that they’re not glued to their monitors, anxiously refreshing their inbox awaiting your reply. But you can’t help but be stressed about it anyway. It’s a curse.
The fact that other people don’t share your need to instantly answer emails drives you even crazier. The high that you get when writing and sending elaborate, expertly-crafted replies to emails, minutes — no, seconds — after you’ve received them comes crashing down when it’s been half an hour and your reply has yet to be acknowledged.
3. You feel horror when you see someone else’s flooded inbox.
Picture this: You’re watching funny dog videos on your roommate’s phone (because who isn’t on a Saturday night?) and suddenly, you catch a glimpse of that glaring red number on her iPhone’s email icon… 2,000 unread emails. If you had more than 10 at a single time, you’d lose your shit. You start to feel a little dizzy and your breathing gets shallow, It’s as if you’ve seen a ghost. How can people live like this?! It’s almost like you’re watching an episode of “Hoarders” — so painful to watch, yet you can’t look away.
You start having an internal debate: Should I confront them about their overflowing inbox? After all, if a person’s still able to sleep at night with that many unread emails, then they must have a problem, right? You eventually give in and mention the unusually high number out loud, all while trying to sound as casual as possible (you don’t want to come across as a total control freak, even though that’s probably what you are). Your roommate doesn’t seem the least bit concerned by your comment. She half-heartedly laughs it off and says something like, “Oh yeah, I should probably get to that.” Could you and this person really be from the same planet?
4. You feel a wave of calm wash over you when you finally reach inbox zero.
There’s really nothing as satisfying as finally opening your inbox and seeing those magical three words: No New Mail. All that hard work of reading, replying and deleting finally paid off. And even though all this really means is that you’ve just wasted multiple hours of your life staring at a phone, you’ve never felt more accomplished. You try to bask in the glory of this moment because you know that it’s fleeting. Inbox zero never lasts.
5. When 100 more emails come in, you’re in agony all over again.
You’re never more zen than when you’re at inbox zero, so watching it slip through your fingers within minutes feels like pure torture. When those initial emails start flooding in, you tell yourself that you can handle it. This time, you will keep your inbox completely empty for more than five minutes. But as you furiously read, delete and reply, 50 more emails come in. How did that just happen?! Then you realize that you’re late for dinner with a friend and you’re forced to step away from your screen, knowing full well that when you reopen your email a few hours later, inbox zero will be a distant memory. This — you think — is what Hell must feel like.
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