I’m stealing this from Swissmiss because it’s so apt to my day-to-day that it’s scary. I’m not sure what other people’s email is like, but I tend to get a lot of emails in a day. It gets so bad that I then feel overwhelmed, guilty, anxious… Not generally good things. Matt Gemmell recently put together this great blog post that relates to people who do get a lot of email, and some handy strategies to handle the situation.
You won’t create contexts, and you certainly won’t file stuff appropriately. You won’t do your weekly review. You’re also probably not the overall person in charge of the next Mars mission. Those systems are not for normal people; they’re for obsessive-compulsives who just happen to prefer filtering email than counting toothpicks or quadruple-checking that the oven is off.
You, however, are a normal person, and the time you’d spend on all those formal task-management rituals is better spent aimlessly surfing the web, or even going home early. You’re just an ordinary lassie or laddie who gets too much goddamned email.
I am fully there with you. I want less hassle, not another job to do.
He spells it out so simply that I feel a bit silly for not already knowing this, but I guess it’s like AA, you feel better when you know there are other people out there just like you. Thanks to Matt I cleaned up my inbox and am already feeling less stressed about it.