At the end of last year I decided that era of my life was over and I was going to answer emails in a timely manner. First I had to decide what “timely” meant, and I decided that under two weeks, preferably under one, would be my aim. My next job was to empty out my inbox, so I spent a lot of time in December doing just that. I made it a point to respond to emails even if they were eighteen months old, because after all, two wrongs don’t make a right and better late than never and all that other good advice. Besides, if it was me waiting for the email, I’d probably still remember that the person had never replied even if a good portion of my life had been lived since I wrote to them.
It was beautifully freeing to start out 2016 with a (nearly) empty inbox and the thrill of starting over (at least in mindset) at my fingertips. At that time though, I didn’t realize how much fun it would be to keep up with replying to emails. Seriously, it’s better than a game. (Or maybe I should say a traditional game, because keeping my inbox empty is a game to me.)
The thing that amuses me the most is that I have nearly as much fun emptying out my inbox as I do receiving emails. It’s especially enjoyable to me when I reply to emails either on my phone or my computer and then I get on the other device and watch as my inbox seemingly magically clears of emails.
I have a rather non-efficent way of sorting my emails right now which consist of over 80 folders. Most of the emails go in a couple of the top folders which I conveniently put “2016” in the title so they’re easy to get to. Some day I need to clear up some of the excess folders, but until then I’ll be quite happy to go along with the system I have.
So far this year I’ve mostly kept to my plan. There might have been a very few times that I’ve gone more then two weeks without replying to an email, but I can’t recall any at the moment. Although I must say, sometimes I kinda cheat at my own game and reply with an I’m so sorry that I haven’t replied yet, a full reply will be coming soon to longer emails. Still though, I’m replying, so that counts.
A lot of Saturday nights I do a somewhat of a mad dash through my emails, trying to get as many of them responded to as possible before the week is over. It’s one of the most satisfying feelings to end the week with the screenshot on my phone of a nearly empty inbox. (And yes, I do screenshot it and then smile happily at the picture.) It’s also a lot of fun to wake up Monday morning with a dozen or so emails waiting to be read, in fact, that’s probably one of my favorite parts of Monday morning.
This morning I had fun going through and answering the emails I’ve had come in during the last couple of days from my Lymeaids (beta readers for When Life Hands You Lymes). It’s encouraging and fun to read their feedback and see WLHYL from someone else’s perspective.
Today is also the day when I finally totally and completely emptied out my inbox. I’ve generally had at least one email in it at all times and was fine with that (I actually like how it looks with just one email). Today though, today was different. I’ve replied to and sorted all the writing emails, all the business emails, all the personal emails, and all the junk emails. So yay!
Deep happy sigh. Now I can simply sit back and wait for my inbox to fill up again. (Which is code for: I need to hurry and get to work at my non-writing before I’m late.)
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What about y’all? Do you enjoy having an empty and sorted inbox?