I thought spending ten minutes a day on my work inbox and ten minutes a day on one of my home inboxes (computer or iPad)would be a good start. Sounded easy enough...
Day 1: Never even got to the emails at work. Something called "work" intruded. At home, I spent my designated ten minutes reading a fantastic blog that I found via - you guessed it - an email in my inbox. Total emails cleared in the designated time: one. Proof that I really need to keep things endlessly because they may be valuable is totally reinforced. Guilt prompts me to promise myself to tackle the inbox while watching Castle later on tonight.
Day 2: Wish I'd made as much progress on my inbox at work today as I did on the inbox at home in front of the tv last night.
By lunchtime of Day 3, I'd been to four meetings, had one more to prepare for and hadn't even turned on my computer. No wonder there are over 5000 emails in my inbox at work.
So, in a classic case of overcompensation, I determined that I'd clear junk out of my inbox on my computer at home, figuring if it wasn't there, it wouldn't show up on my iPad and I'd kill the proverbial two birds with one delete key. Half an hour later, I'd deleted 719 messages - all advertisements! - and unsubscribed from one list. Success! And a new element to add to my plan...time to start unsubscribing.
Unfortunately, I can't unsubscribe from clients and co-workers, so on Day 4, I decided that starting with old emails at work might make parting with "essential information" a little easier. I deleted minutes of meetings, read the updated versions, deleted blog announcements, and added the relevant info to my favorites bar. I made a little progress, but still have over 5000 emails in my inbox, not to mention a pile of appointment requests from real people, who trump inbox maintenance. Moving on...
Though I'm trying to delete as I go, my little experiment has shown me how easy it is to become bogged down by this "convenient" form of communication. Any and all suggestions for inbox maintenance welcome, as my goal remains substantially reducing the backlog.... :-)
Till then, you'll find me in front of my computer, finger poised on the delete key.