After re-organizing half my life in the last couple weeks (in terms of paperwork and admin), I've now tackled the real beast: my main email inbox, which had just under 1,100 emails, dating back about 3 years. This is obviously only possible because work at work is incredibly slow and I struggle to write at work. Usually, it's not happening, certainly not when the rest of the team is in (and talking).
So I'm doing what I did with the real life paper situation at home and delete/rip up, file/archive, respond, or defer to "need more time to deal with this". I'm now at 694 emails left over and can quite reaonably expect to push this to about 500 either today or tomorrow. That's the best email count ever. Granted, the 500 or so that'll remain likely mean slightly more effort, but 500 is a lot more doable than 1,100. (Though a subjective 50,000 of them were royalty reports - I'm so glad I pulled some work back just because it saves me a huge amount of admin/headspace not having to do admin on 50+ publishers, or that's what it felt like.)
So, being bored at work sure has its upside. If you're waiting for a response - it's looking good I'll get back to you.