Ok, so it’s a favorite topic of mine, dealing with clutter. I took a big step today dealing with my email inbox. First there was a great article on reducing email inbox clutter in the July 2008 print edition of Macworld. That article further referred to this series of posts at the 43folders.com personal productivity website. This series addresses the psychological reasons for keeping too many emails (the writing is hysterical), and then it offers simple solutions.
Some are practical, including a great sample schedule for how to tackle email in a typical work day so that you aren’t becoming a slave to the new email message notification beep. But my favorite comment is when the author says, Wouldn’t it be great to suck a little less?
That could be a motto for me as I strive to be easier on myself. A lot of my friends are like me in wanting to become more superhuman by trying to do everything. Naturally, none of us can do everything. Those who thrive take stock of themselves, their energy, their time and priorities, and they put their effort where it will make the biggest impact.
So applying these simple guidelines today for scanning and deleting email, I cut the volume of stored messages in my inbox by 800 items. The article calls this getting the piano off your foot. Call it that, or call it sucking a little less. Either way it’s liberating.