Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Death by Email

Reverb Prompt: What new thing will you try this month?

I notice when I make improvements in my life, other things start to slip.

So I joined this triathlon club, and for the most part, have been doing a great job at showing up to practices — some of which are at 5:30 and 6:30 a.m. — and kicking ass at some really hard workouts. And to do that, I’ve had to go to sleep at reasonable hours and been trying to put good things in my body (like Bloody Marys! Tomatoes are good for you!). So that’s great.

But now that I am running and swimming and biking at all hours of the day, I’m not staying on top of other things. Like emails. That sounds so minor, but when I realized I had 100+ unread emails in my inbox, I just stopped opening my inbox.

I feel compelled to respond to every single person who emails me, but I never have the time. So I mark emails as unread to remind myself to get back to them. And then, a few days later, I have more than 100 unread emails.

I went to a coffee shop last night with the mission of getting my stupid email inbox in order. I spent time unsubscribing from newsletters and listservs I don’t care for. I removed email notifications from many of my Facebook and Twitter notifications. I organized my labels so it’s easier to digest my inbox at a glance.

Also, I’m going to work on not responding to every email. I will delete some. People will not be sitting behind their computers wondering “WHERE IS MY RESPONSE FROM BETSY!??!?!” They will deal.

This month, I will try to declutter my email life and respond only to the important emails. Because who wants to spend their free time reading and responding to emails? Ugh. Life is too short to spend all of it emailing.

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