Cleaning Out The Inbox

Looking at my inbox recently I realized it's been close to a year since it was empty.  Incoming email gets sorted, assigned, replied to, and in some cases they must get tagged with the "limbo" tag because there they remain awaiting a thought, an action, a project to be finished, something so you can finally close out that email.

Do you think your inbox might possibly resemble your life to a certain extent?  Do you think how you handle the incoming emails to your inbox tells us something about the way you handle issues in your life?  Quite possibly when you consider your inbox IS a big part of your life.  Do you procrastinate, intentionally delay, control, forget, or just intentionally slag it off?

I decided to take a look at some of the emails that have been hanging around my inbox for a while and finally clear that sucker out!

1.  An email from a friend suggesting a writing project together.  Really, it's a good idea and I wanted to do it.. so I kept it right there in the inbox.  A year goes by, no time, I can't get in the mood for this type of writing, but I think maybe I will someday?  Probably not.  Deleted.

2.  Another email from Canon Professional Support.  I need to renew my membership.  The problem is that before there was only one level of membership, so nothing to think about.  Now there are three levels, two you have to pay for.  Cripes, I want the top level of service but I'm too cheap to pay for it.  A year later I'm still thinking about each one.  I checked on their site and renewed at the free level.  At least I have that support and I can upgrade at any time.

3.  One more email is from a meat and produce supplier in Bangkok who delivers to your home.  Great prices and it looks to be great product.  The problem is I haven't been home long enough to make a minimum order worthwhile (takes months to eat 4kg of meat!) so I was waiting until I was.  No way I want to miss out on a great deal.  Sigh.. I booked marked the site and deleted.

4.  An email from a software developer wanting to know when I'll be reviewing his product.  This is easy.  His product sucks, but I don't want to publish that.  I'd sent him feedback already and I was hoping a new version would be forthcoming.  So far there hasn't been.  Sigh.. I replied and told him I didn't want to review this version because it sucked and I'd already told him why.  I said I was looking forward to reviewing his next version.

5.  There are about 14 emails from readers and people I've never met personally who have said they'd like to get together for a drink.  So would I.  The problem is if I took up every invitation which was generously extended, and believe me I very much appreciate them, but if I accepted every one I'd be a full time alcoholic and I'd never have time to write this column.  Still, I want to meet these guys!  Maybe we should think about a group dinner for photographers?  A get together like Stick had for submission writers? Anyone think this is a great idea? Let me know if you do.  I created a new mailbox and put these 14 emails in there for safe keeping.

6.  Only a few left now.  The next one is from a family member who has this unique talent of being able to piss me off without even trying.  Every time I read the email it pisses me off.  Responding requires thinking about it, and I don't feel like getting wound up.  I'm an easy going guy.  Plus, if I respond in less than 10 seconds he'll respond back with new material to piss me off.  I just deleted it and maybe he'll forget I'm alive.

Anyway, my inbox is now empty.  I'm looking at it on one screen while writing this blog entry on the other.  Why?  Because I know it can't last.  There she goes.. 'checking mail, 43% complete..."  YOU HAVE MAIL!  AAAARRRRGGGHHHHHHH!!!!

Until Next Time..