Last night, I stayed up…

Last night, I stayed up two hours past my bedtime, because I was somehow in the e-mail-dealing-with zone (and also that let me babysit two last loads of laundry), and got to Inbox Zero, for the first time in twenty years. It was glorious.

It was also brief, and more than a bit of a cheat, because I used The E-mail Game to boomerang out various e-mails that I didn't need to deal with immediately, so there are about 50 scheduled to come back at various points over the next month. And when I woke up this morning, there were 10 new e-mails, and 20 had boomeranged back.

But I've dealt with the 10 new ones already (hooray!), and I'm going to sit down now and deal with the 20 boomeranged, and by 9 a.m., I plan to be back at Inbox Zero. After at least a decade of using my Inbox as an increasingly stressed out storage space for to-do list items (many of which were so long overdue that it was just ludicrous), after having gotten to the place where I literally couldn't bring myself to even open my e-mail and look at it some days, because the very thought made me teary and freaked out, I feel as if a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders.

Almost all of the credit goes to Mary Robinette Kowal, who told me about the free program, The E-mail Game, which somehow got me past my e-mail block. A few hours weekly over the course of the summer took me from 700 e-mails to 0.

It's bizarre; I'm a smart person, I'm strong-willed (as my mother will attest), and on some level, I think I should be able to just deal with things. It feels sort of ridiculous to say that I needed a technological workaround to get past this psychological problem I'd developed with my e-mail. But hell -- the facts don't lie. It worked, and I'm grateful, and my life is better now.

Mary, I owe you a drink. Or several. :-) I hear you like Scotch?

3 thoughts on “Last night, I stayed up…”

  1. I will have to try the boomerang. By sacrificing syllabus prep and focusing on email, last week I got mine from over 500 down to 120. But I can get below that bit balloons up to 180 or 210 every day and I diligently get it back to @100 but I can’t get to inbox zero.

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