Are you still dealing with emails you received during the summer or Labor Day weekend? If you have a backlog of emails awaiting your attention, don’t bother responding.
Instead, just declare email bankruptcy. Yes, delete ‘em all and move on. If something’s really important, you’ll surely hear back from the people who tried to contact you.
Ludicrous? Yes. Disrespectful to people awaiting a response from you? Absolutely. And for real? Unfortunately, yes.
I discovered email bankruptcy thanks to this post in the otherwise insightful blog One Thing New. OTN dubs it “the best email management tip ever” and credit the idea to Thomson Reuters’ Lauren Young, who oversees wealth management coverage. They quote her saying, “There’s something so liberating about going into your inbox and deleting it all.”
I’m sure there is. There’s also something childishly irresponsible about email bankruptcy, akin to the behavior of the tot losing at checkers who slams the board shut before the game ends. Deleting your entire inbox appears to be a sign of being in control. But it’s really a display of how panicked and overwhelmed someone like Lauren Young feels when staring down a bulging in box after a vacation.
That’s understandable. Too much of anything scary can paralyze even the most fearless of folks. But tossing it all, whether it’s memorabilia, photos or clothes, isn’t a lasting solution. And that approach doesn’t help anyone develop or exercise critical life skills – like prioritizing, managing time and energy and making wise decisions.
Next week I’ll offer some strategies for preventing emails from taking over your life. If you have any strategies that have worked well for you, I’d love to hear them and will share them here. I read every email from readers, so you can be sure your note won’t end up deleted and ignored.