I’m looking into my crystal ball… And i see that you’re currently using a computer, and you have an email account… Yes, i can see that clearly now. It might be a work account, it might be personal. Or both. Ah crap. Power just went out. I’ll have to use brain power from now on. Release the hamster!
I have a personal email account and i get a lot of correspondence re a community group i’m heavily involved in (not Hell’s Angels if you were wondering) and it’s not unusual to get many emails from this group of people a day, regarding many different topics. This can make life rather interesting.
Might not sound like a lot to some, but when most of these emails mean me having to do something, to exert some energy, to direct that energy solely towards something that is probably not all that exciting and very possibly a rather tedious task, i have been known to read the email and just leave it sitting there in my inbox to fester and hopefully disappear into thin air… Poof! And then they build up. Not the, not the poofs, the emails – are you following?
If i’m busy for a few weeks, i’ll get a build up of 50 emails plus, just sitting in my inbox. Now this makes me fret that there are actions contained within some of those emails that i need to act upon because if i don’t the world will explode! Or at the very least, something shit will eventuate as a result of inaction. This is where my friend Merlin Mann comes into the picture. (He’s not actually my friend – i’ve never met him before. But there’s a possibily of becoming friends if we ever do meet. So let’s not rule out that possibility okay.)
Merlin is a mann dedicated to making ones life less stressful and more productive. So good at this he is, that he recently gave a talk to Google employees about something he calls ‘Inbox Zero’. A term that might seem alien and even mythical to these googlers who can have hundreds and hundreds of unread email. And ’cause Merlin is an awesome kinda guy, he’s put that talk up on his website for every all to view for no cost what-so-ever. And it’s changed my life. In small and big ways.
I no longer have an inbox that contains more items than my wardrobe does. I no longer have sleepness nights, wondering if it’d missed something in an email i was supposed to take care of by yesterday. I now feel empowered (more so relieved) because my inbox is always empty.
I don’t have these emails starring at me every time i check my inbox, reminding me, taunting me that i have to deal with them, now, now, NOW!
Now i take care of what needs to be done there and then, and what i can’t do then, i plan when i can do it. I’ve learned to confront my fear. Learned to confront the box in front of me.
Me and my inbox. We’re finding that old love we used to have. A love from days when no one knew it’s address, and all that i received were messages letting me know that Vicky Licky-Dicky wants to be a MySpace friend.
Check out ‘Inbox Zero’ people, if your inbox intimidates you like mine did once. I did. And i’m a better
geek man for it.