Inbox Zero: The Ultimate Sleep Hack

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I’ve wondered for a while how much subconscious “processing” might be impacting my sleep. Last night, I got to test my theories. 

Email as a form of sleep deprivation / torture.

I went to NYC last weekend for a last minute play with some friends. I left at 4PM Friday and didn’t get home til it was time to start work Monday morning. That meant that I missed my prime windows for email cleanup. As a consequence, I’ve been carting around 100s of unread messages. 

Unread messages are hell. You have no idea what’s lurking behind that little blue dot. Is it new business? A mind boggling lead? Is it an urgent customer need? Does a movie star want to get coffee with you and you’re just blowing them off? Is the city informing you that you should not drink your tap water? Is there a recall on your car? How about your spinach? 

This week, I have had some of the worst sleep of my life. I wake up at 1:30 AM convinced I’ve tossed and turned all night, only to discover I have another 5 hours of tossing and turning in front of me.

I wake up at 4:30 AM with my heart pounding and mind racing. I have dreams about drowning. 

What on earth could be doing this to me? How about 4683 unread messages? 

Inbox zero as a form of spa-like relaxation / lullaby.

Last night I took the last hour of work, then the next 2 hours of my evening, and got my inbox to zero. Not artificially, but for real. I dealt with everything I needed to deal with, kicked stuff over to the ops team, scheduled calls, followed up, said no to all those movie stars, and cleaned up my act. 

Here’s what happened. 

3muevvnptoqt7yslgr9v9bcibrigxhn vd8nif9o rkg10l81biop5yv5rdttuvhodyekdko pp0y53rr33h59forjitaaq sdfwlorexobi1p22krzx41xuf

According to my Oura ring, my sleep score was at 95. The previous nights were garbage in the low 70s, bad REM, hardly any deep sleep, and my resting heart rate was hanging out in the high 50’s. 

Your brain is a computer. And it needs defragmenting.

Look, sometimes you need to close a few tabs. If you’re anything like me (or most of the people I know), you think you’ll come back to it. You leave partially processed programming up and running and sucking your resources until you have to shut down just to accomplish simple tasks like copy and paste. 

Is that really how you want to run your life? There’s one letter between run and ruin. And it’s “I.” The choice is yours!