Thursday, July 10, 2008

Working on the inbox

I've been working on decluttering various areas of my home and life--cabinets, business inventory, and now my email inbox is getting a clean sweep. I've been concerned about my inboxes for awhile. My main email address had well over 500 UNREAD emails in it this morning, plus 69 pages of emails in the main inbox (not counting folders). This means that I had about 1700 emails just sitting around for whatever reason. I like to think that I delete emails appropriately, so to me that meant that I must have a lot of items in the old inbox that needed some sort of attention. I get lots of business-related emails at that address, so those sometimes sit and wait while I need to make some decisions. Once something goes off of my first page, it's as good as gone. I'm very much a visual organizer. If I see it, I can take care of it. (usually) Once I don't see it, it's as if it never existed in the first place.

Well today I managed to get my inbox down to just 300 remaining messages (there's only so much time in the day for these things....) and less than 50 unread messages. I found that I had A LOT to delete (mostly stuff that I like to read, but only do read if I have time to, which is not often), and some stuff to file or take action on. Now I have an ACTION NEEDED file, which may or may not help me, depending on whether or not I remember that such a place exists. (reminds me of my former URGENT file in the kitchen which I rediscovered months after I had started using it. amazingly, all of the urgent things had survived just fine without my attention...)

Hopefully someday soon I will get my inbox down to just the current messages, and get it down to zero by the end of each day. It would be really nice to get rid of that visual and mental clutter.

And once I get through that.....I guess I'll start doing the same thing on my other two email addresses......

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