Two-Minute Thought: Leverage Your Love of Order

Two-Minute Thought: Leverage Your Love of Order

In Spendshift, I write briefly about the quest for email zero. It’s the holy grail of keeping on top of things: zero unread emails in your Inbox, always. There are a bunch of strategies for getting yourself there, but the point is once you’ve accomplished and maintained it for a while, the sense of satisfaction is enormous.

I’ve also discovered an added bonus to email zero. If I leave just one or two emails unread which I know contain a task, obligation, or request, I’m far more likely to do these sooner rather than later to get my Inbox back to its pristine state.

This might seem really specific, but there are so many ways you can apply the same concept to other areas of your life:

  • Leave a chore-related object (e.g. mop, grocery list) in the middle of your otherwise tidy living room
  • Leave one last dirty dish on your clean counter and say you can clean it when you’re done X
  • Put a post-it note right onto the your computer screen so it will continuously bug you until you accomplish its contents
  • Keep a streak record for some behaviour you’re trying to accomplish, and intentionally break the streak if you don’t accomplish some unrelated chore

And the list goes on. It might seem masochistic and not fair to do this to yourself at first, but it’s actually a pretty enjoyable hack to leverage your sense of accomplishment (and order) in your favour.

After all, you’re never really done everything, are you?

Like this hack? Ping me on Twitter @lintropy if you have any of your own!


Ryan Melsom has a PhD in literary studies and has spent over twenty years working in communications, design, and writing. His second book Spendshift: 100 Lazy Hacks to Rock Your Finances is now on Amazon. For more by Ryan, follow him on Twitter @lintropy, or visit his Facebook page.

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1 Comment

  • Iris Jackson

    November 26, 2016

    Brilliant! And so is your book, Spendshift!


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