How to Kill Email Anxiety, Avoid Distractions, and Get Real Work Done
by Jocelyn K. Glei | PublicAffairs © 2016 · 240 pages

This is a quick-reading, smart, practical guide on how to, as the sub-title suggests, “Kill Email Anxiety, Avoid Distractions, and Get Real Work Done. My kind of book. I *highly* recommend it. Big Ideas we explore include rats + rewards (real vs. random), progress hacks to conquer the progress paradox, saying “YES!!!” en route to saying “No” plus the physics of emails and 21st century superpowers.

Inbox zero is an addictive game not a meaningful goal.
Jocelyn K. Glei

“Email is broken. Or, more precisely, email has broken us. On a regular basis it inspires hatred, guilt, anxiety, anger, and despair. The very last thing we think about when we think about email is its utility. And yet we know it’s a useful and necessary part of our everyday lives.

The true source of our love-hate relationships with email is that we treat it like a task when it’s actually a tool. We cede control of our workday—and our to-do lists—to the dictates of others in pursuit of a mirage called ‘inbox zero.’ Rather than focusing mindfully on what’s outgoing, we strive to futilely keep up with what’s incoming.

Have our ambitions shrunk so small that this is actually a worthy goal? A goal for which we will thrust aside meaningful work along with the chance to do something good in this world? That may sound melodramatic, but can you deny that email distracts you from your creative ambitions on a daily basis?

In this book we’ll flip the script on the way you approach email—shifting from a perspective of blind, numbers-based ‘productivity’ to a mindset guided by your creative priorities. This is not simply a collection of rules for better email etiquette or whittling down the number of messages in your inbox; it is a guide to holistically revamping and repairing your relationship with email. …

By the time you finish Unsubscribe you will have mastered how to think about, manage, and write email with less anxiety and more grace, freeing you up to focus on the work that really matters—the stuff of building a legacy, not just keeping busy.”

~ Jocelyn K. Glei from Unsubscribe

This is the fourth Note on Jocelyn Glei’s work. (Yes, I think she’s awesome.)

Check out our Notes on each of the three books in her 99U series: Maximize Your Potential, Manage Your Day to Day, and Make Your Mark.

Those were collections of essays by Jocelyn and a team of great thinkers. This book is 100% Jocelyn and it’s 100% awesome.

It’s a quick-reading, smart, practical guide on how to, as the sub-title suggests, “Kill Email Anxiety, Avoid Distractions, and Get Real Work Done.”

My kind of book. I *highly* recommend it. (Get a copy here.)

The book has four parts: Psychology + Strategy + Style + Superpowers. We’re going to focus on the first two. It’s packed with Big Ideas. I’m excited to share a few of my favorites so let’s jump straight in!

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About the author


Jocelyn K. Glei

Obsessed with work, creativity, anxiety, and what it all means in the grand scheme of things.