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Inbox Influx

I know this is an old topic, but it still sort of blows my mind. I just deleted 425 e-mails out of my work e-mail inbox. I still have 1072 messages that I can’t quite part with yet. These are all related to projects that are ongoing. This, by the way, doesn’t include the messages that I’ve filed. My inbox is inundated. (And this? This is the slow time of the year for me.) The 1072 doesn’t even include the lame response e-mails like “thanks” or “got it.”

It’s insane, right? 1072 doesn’t cover my two personal e-mail accounts.

Most of the work-related e-mail is pretty important. It consists of feedback and approvals from clients. I also have e-mails from vendors and bosses. My e-mail (personal and professional) gets forwarded to my Blackberry. Which means I’m tethered to my desk 24 hours a day, whether I’m actually working or not.

Even when we were on vacation this summer, both of us had our Blackberrys. And God forbid you don’t respond to someone’s e-mail in two seconds—never mind the fact that you’re two continents and three time zones away—they freak out and resend. Or call. There’s no such thing as business hours anymore.

The sad thing is the more connected we are, the less connected we really are. Most days my husband I are too busy talk so we’ll text message each other. Or e-mail. I IM my best friend during the day. We talk when we see each other every other week.

I wish I could just disconnect from it all for one day. Work-wise I can’t. But I’m curious if anyone out there has put limits on this stuff. Have you drawn the line on when and how often you check your e-mail (and no, it doesn’t count that your internet was down)? Have you ever just selected all and hit delete?

E-mail me with your responses!

PS: By the time I finished this post, I had 1132 e-mails.


7 Responses

  1. I’m figuring since you have this blog now that I can leave comments on, figuring in our BB’s and our IM’ing and e-mailing….oh my god WE’LL NEVER HAVE TO ACTUALLY TALK AGAIN!! 😉

    On a personal level (all the work tentacles that electronics provide aside), I think all these various electronic communications have made us MORE connected. They just supplement us. We wouldn’t be able to talk NEARLY as much without them so in this case I’m all for all of it.

    Select all/delete? WTF ARE YOU CRAZY??!?!

  2. Select/All Delete is a dream of mine!

    I hope all of this makes us more connected and not less. It’s true—you and I would probably never talk if it weren’t for technology. That’s why I suck so back at communication in person!! You and Bill should form a support group.

  3. Shadddup! We’d talk…just not as much! (You know. Not 6,798 times a day like now.)

    Possible group names: Miscommunicated To By Mo? Victims of Mo Miscommunication? United and De-MO-rilized? OKAYNOTREALLY. XOXO

  4. How about:
    Victims of Moscommunication?!

  5. I totally hear where you’re coming from Snark, I experience just about the same degree of connectiveness. But thankfully I don’t have a blackberry – my employer only approves these social life killers to Directors and up.

    Two years ago, I requested a laptop so that I could work on special projects at home and when I do travel with work I have it. It’s backfired and I am pretty much on it from the minute dinner is over until I go to bed.

    And I am not proud to admit it! The amount of sleep I get has seriously decreased as a result of this connectiveness.

    And the worse thing is is that no body (work included) is forcing me or even expects me to answer right away. I guess originally I felt that it would save me time and lessen my stress by reading and responding to e-mails at night as apposed to when I get into work in the mornings. NOT.

    Anyhow, I really do make an effort to log off by MIDNIGHT. I even find that a challenge at times though.

  6. There’s no reason in the world to have that many emails in your inbox. You either delete them right away with or without reading them, or you respond to them within 24 hours and then delete them or you forward them on for someone else to deal with and then delete them. If there are important attachments or some other information that warrants keeping, file the email or portion of the email away in a word processing or email archival file. Then delete the original from your inbox. This is what’s known in professional organizing circles as the TRAF method (same things applies to hard copy material) T= trash it, R= Reply, A= Archive, F= Forward for someone else’s action.

  7. XUP: Unfortunately, I live by the CYA method—Cover Your Ass! I’m amazed at how frequently I need to go back and find something to prove we were given a specific direction.

    I do plan to go through and delete more today though!

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