Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Email Purge

Too Much EmailThis afternoon I spent a portion of time clearing out my email inbox.

I've mentioned before that I'm trying to minimize the number of times I check email throughout the day. I'm getting pretty good at that, but the skill I seem to lack is actually doing something with those emails when I receive them. My mental monologue sounds something like "Oh, a message from Bob. I should write back to him. I'll leave it in my inbox so I remember. And there's the data I was waiting for. I'll just leave it there until I get to it. That looks like an interesting seminar. I'd better save that message in my inbox so that I remember to register."

And so on.

Within a week my inbox grows to between 50 and 100 "important" messages. Bob never gets a message from me. The data becomes hard to find. By the time I actually uncover the information about the seminar, it's long past.

So, yesterday I made a clean sweep. I acted upon, responded to, or filed away every single message in the queue. Some ended up as "to do" items. Others just got deleted.

Now I just need to keep on top of it every day.

So what's your biggest email sin?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I do the same thing... I've started to archive those messages immediately that I want to save for reference, but don't necessarily need to act on it in any way. I can easy go into the multiple hundreds in a given day, but I've found that by keeping on top of removing the no-action emails, I can keep it down to under 50. I'm still working on my system to reduce that down further :-)