Monday, November 01, 2010

NoMoEmo is here! Join me if you dare!

Today, many writers are beginning the annual word-creating ritual, NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). As always, I wish them well, and as always, I cannot join them because I'm in rewrite mode (for Let it Bleed).

This month, I'm undertaking an alternate project that for many authors is much, Much, MUCH more intimidating than writing a novel.

Achieving Inbox Zero.

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.

Well. Okay.

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 reply.

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.

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Inbox at 1521. I am an email packrat. I've tried to sort out my email (since they introduced labels/tagging/extra folders LONG after I signed up and started collecting). Good luck!

Posted by: Blogger Carrie Clevenger at 11/01/2010 5:46 PM

WOW! I'm already down by 100, but that's mostly just deleting and filing really old e-mails. It'll start going much more slowly once I start answering a bunch of them. :-)

Posted by: Blogger Jeri at 11/01/2010 11:41 PM

my inbox is currently at 0. but i dont get nearly as many emails as you a day because im not as awesome as you :)

which reminds me, i owe you an email.

so you'll be +1. lol.


Posted by: Blogger Jennzah at 11/02/2010 5:35 PM

I just started making folders for blog related emails. All that does is hide it for a while and give me a bigger mountain of email to get back to later.
I get my email on my blackberry and that helps me sort out most of it right away. I'm able to delete all the junk emails from my phone as they come in throughout the day. I answer the others when I get home.
Of course I don't have anywhere near the volume thst you do.

Posted by: Blogger Karen at 11/09/2010 6:37 PM

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