I did something very strange today… I deleted all of my email… deliberately.
Although it took me nearly 7 hours to go through my inbox, first by ‘unread’ emails and then from oldest to newest emails, I found that most of them were just left there out of laziness or ‘I’ll get back to that someday’ or ‘I might need to reference that at some point.’ I cleared out over 4000 unread emails and an additional 3000+ emails that were just hanging around.
I may find that I regret this incredible act of decimation, but in the short term it is incredibly freeing. I am finding that I am either acting on emails that are coming in or snoozing them (a wonderful feature my son told me about yesterday) to show up later for me.
What precipitated this mass purging? Well, it was a off-handed comment that same son made at Christmas to my brother-in-law regarding the thousands of unread emails someone had noted on their gmail phone app and they both traded that combined they had 8 total emails currently in their inboxes. I thought it silly at the time, but over the next week or so I contemplated why I had so many unread and undisposed of messages. I had thought that I just get too many emails to manage it all in real time and it is easier to go back and mass delete items when they’ve been hanging out for a while now obviously unneeded.
I now find myself incredibly protective of my inbox. I would say I get well over a hundred emails a day, but many of them are just information updates or questions that can be turned around quickly and deleted immediately.
It will be interesting to see if in 30 days I again have an outcropping of stale emails sitting in my inbox or like some others that I very much respect, I’ll keep my room clean real time for a while….