A psychologist says a disorganized email inbox can be a sign of intelligence


email inbox


If your inbox looks like this, it might be a good sign.

While researching what your inbox reveals about your personality, I was relieved to learn that a disorganized inbox isn't necessarily problematic.


As it turns out, email "ignorers," or people who keep hundreds, if not thousands, of unread messages without filing or deleting them, may be savvier than the rest of us.

According to Ron Friedman, Ph.D., author of "The Best Place to Work: The Art and Science of Creating an Extraordinary Workplace," an overflowing inbox could mean you're overwhelmed or disengaged. But "it can also mean that you recognize that [monitoring and organizing your emails] isn't helping you achieve progress. And that's a sign of intelligence."

That's especially true if you work at a company where you routinely receive hundreds of emails every week that don't necessarily call for a response.

Ignorers in this situation understand that they don't need to take action on every message right away - and probably shouldn't. "Email reflects other people's priorities for you," Friedman says, "not necessarily important work that requires your immediate attention."


Ultimately, it all comes down to what makes you feel productive. And ignorers may actually be more in tune with that concept than people who are obsessive about maintaining inbox zero.

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