Friday, June 18, 2021

It's alarming how much of my mental wellbeing depends upon an empty inbox

Please, as a favor to me, just don't do this.

You may have heard it said that there are two types of people in this world: Those with zero emails in their inbox, and those with 5,000 emails in their inbox.

I am of the former camp. You can almost always fit my inbox onto one screen. It is stressful for me to have unread emails in any quantity, let alone a list that numbers into the tens, hundreds, or (gulp) thousands.

There have been times when I was watching a presentation by a co-worker sharing his/her screen, and for a brief second you could see Microsoft Outlook with an ungodly blue number like 32,418 next to their inbox, representing the total number of unread messages in there.

I would have a heart attack. Seriously, at that point you need to just start over.

I maintain an orderly folder system for both my personal Gmail and work Outlook accounts (when I have a job, of course). These folders are divided into categories, and I place emails into each upon receiving and reading them.

"But what about emails that need to be acted on, but I don't have the time to do it right when they come in?"

Then have a "To Do" folder or something that tells you these are messages that need to be addressed in short order. Or make good use of a program like Microsoft OneNote or Evernote that allows you to easily create tasks and reminders for yourself.

Just, please, don't allow that blue unread number to get into the five digits. Or the three and four digits, for that matter. The aneurysm you save will probably be mine.

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