Thanks to the Roadmap seminar on 7/21 in SM (highly recommended, btw) and a conversation with Randy Stokes (fellow GTDer of this board), I had an epiphany about working from zero in my email/voicemail inbox that I just have to share! I'm so excited!
I was having problems keeping my inbox empty for a very simple reason. I was keeping emails as physical reminders of actions that needed to be taken, rather than putting those things on my lists.
When I got new emails, when I didn't have time to actually DO whatever I imagined might be required after reading them, I would just not open them. (ahem. embarrassed smiley here). This led to a few problems!
But, after the seminar on the 21st, I gave myself permission to open an email and process it by writing the NA on a list, without actually having to DO the next action right then. This has taken away (so far anyway) my resistence to opening emails.
Now when I process emails, I open them, shoot a quick reply ("I received your email, and will address it as soon as I can"), archive it in the appropriate folder and put a NA on my lists in the appropriate place.
Hurraaaaaaayyyy! Thanks David and Randy.
It was worth the money and the time in the seminar for just that one epiphany.