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Twofer Tuesday: On Avoiding Mediocrity & Attaining “Inbox Zero”

twofer-500x500When it comes to pursuing professional success, it’s easy to get complacent — to forfeit greatness in exchange for playing it safe. The first of these Twofers offers a glimpse at why the risk of mediocrity might just be bigger than the risk of failure. The second examines how to attain that elusive yet coveted office treasure, Inbox Zero.

Mediocrity vs. Failure: The Pitfalls of Playing It Safe

Is the possibility of reaching the pinnacle of success worth risking it all, even if failure could mean sinking into the pit of despair? Or are you content to maintain a “plateau of mediocrity,” knowing you’ll never reach your highest potential?

This dilemma reminds me of a famous quote by writer Anaïs Nin: “The day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through.”

So let me put my initial question another way: What is the true risk in life: possible defeat or everlasting regret?

This Savage Chickens cartoon reflects on the matter at hand.

Read: Challenges

The Quest for the Workplace Holy Grail: Inbox Zero

Most of us spend too much time wading through our inboxes. For some of us, checking, reading and replying to emails can take nearly six hours out of each workday.

It’s shocking, I know. The good news is that it can be avoided. In this clever (and only slightly cheeky) video, Atlantic senior editor James Hamblin explains how he’s able to make answering emails as efficient as possible — and how, with a few simple rules of email etiquette, you and your colleagues can do the same.

Watch: How an Editor Stays at Inbox Zero

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