After a month of daily blogging and the demands of life, I had to go within myself and stay there for a while. After all, the brain needs downtime to remain creative, generate ideas. My brain doesn’t ask for breaks. It dictates them by bringing desire to read or write another word to a halt.
After a time away, the desire slowly returns.
But then today, another headache. I opened my Inbox to over three thousand emails. How is that possible? And how did I accumulate so many emails? Well, I belong to a critique group, a discussion group, a public speaking group, I blog, subscribe to various lists such as my son’s school, and didn’t seem to have paid attention.
And that’s only the Primary Tab. Gmail comes with 3 tabs: Primary, Social, and Promotion. A glance at the last two and I had to gasp for air. Over 20,000 emails sitting there, slowing down my browser. My entire computer. Well, deleting bulk emails is easy if designated as such, so the 20,000 were the easiest to eliminate.
My Primary Inbox, three thousand emails large, was a different story. I had to sort, ensure nothing important got deleted, save emails in folders, create folders to begin with, go page by page, a final security measure, click Delete, sit and wait. The process took under an hour. Now, my Inbox is free of gigabytes taking up precious space.
Was electronic clutter another reason my brain demanded a break? Possible.
A few thoughts on what I learned and will try to do going forward:
- Make and organize folders;
- Move emails into their folders as soon as they arrive;
- Tackle important emails;
- Delete junk;
- Schedule time to address the above. Basically create a plan and stick with it.
Some friends have batch email — a list in digest form that comes in once or twice a day, rather than individual email. I tried that once, didn’t work. I like my emails available right away. Not a fan of waiting for email to be categorized and sent at the end of the day in a sometimes confusing list.
Other friends say: reduce the amount of email coming in. Unsubscribe from things. Well, most of what I get in my regular Inbox I want to see, but a worthy suggestion. Anything is better than email chaos. Any form of organization.
How do you deal with electronic clutter?