This month, I'm undertaking an alternate project that for many authors is much, Much, MUCH more intimidating than writing a novel.
That mythical, Grail-like state in which one's inbox contains no messages, and not because one's hard drive crashed and erased everything.
I call it NoMoEmo. (NO MOre Email anyMOre.)
It doesn't mean I'm swearing off e-mail--quite the contrary, I will endeavor to return, delete, or file every e-mail in both of my inboxes, along with the subfolders marked "Answer" or "Action!" (in other words, the places where "urgent" e-mails go to die).
As of this moment, 3:12pm on November 1, my total number of un-dealt-with e-mails =
Huh. Last week when I counted it was in the 300s.
So with thirty days in November, taking away four days for Thanksgiving holiday, I need to reduce my total inbox count (TIC) each day by exactly 22 messages. Given that I receive more than 100 messages a day--many of which are instantly trash-able, such as offers from online stores and pleas for donations from various political candidates (which will thankfully end tomorrow)--this will probably require a good two or three hours a day of concentrated work.
But I will do it! Not only that, I will blog my progress and try to share any hints, observations, and frustrations. (Note: I will not do this every day. Not even every other day.) I think it will be an enlightening, educational, and somewhat frightening experience.
Would you like to join me? Would you like to emancipate yourself from the tyranny of the inbox? No TIC is too big, no avoidance behaviors too crazy--here at NoMoEmo we practice acceptance, understanding, and good-natured self-ridicule.
Post your TIC in the comments below, and repeat after me:
I will delete.
I will overcome.
UPDATE: It's now 5:32pm (I got interrupted by a beta reader calling with great feedback on Let it Bleed), and my TIC has gone up to 591. I give up.
I grabbed the above image from a blog called 2TimeMgt and its post, "The Ridiculously Overflowing Inbox," which tells us why this problem is a sign of lack of productivity and how it explains why everyone thinks those who have it is a loser/jerk.