As hard as it is for me to throw things away, I can truly appreciate the joy that is sparked when you part with possessions that no longer mean anything to you. Marie Kondo is proof of dynamite coming in small packages as her ways of tidying up have caused big waves (even for the messiest among us).
With our lives becoming more digital by the second (under extenuating circumstances amidst Covid-19), our inboxes are more than likely piling up with even more mail than usual (from conversations to webinar invitations, and all things in between). This can be overwhelming and more so if you haven’t filed emails in some time. The Marie Kondo method can fortunately be applied digitally…
As anyone with an internet speed short of the best fibre connection can attest to, uploading your life (or just your emails) to the cloud is no quick feat. Bandwidth straining and tedious ‘’updating’’ messages aside, it takes a lot of time. Anyone could benefit – and find joy - from streamlining their emails (even if fast internet is in the picture). Here are some ideas on how to do it – and why you should.
Where do you go, my lovely?
All that data has to be stored somewhere, and just because it’s in the cloud, doesn’t mean it’s not backed up somewhere on a physical server, piling up. Not only are you saving on space by deleting irrelevant emails, but you won’t need to rummage through irrelevant stuff while looking for what you need. This should bring joy.
Filing is your friend
Some emails can’t be deleted (for whatever reason). These can be neatly filed in folders that can be as detailed as you like. It’s probably going to be better to keep things to a minimum but being able to access the emails you want easily, is the goal.
Let me upgrade you
By all means (if you have the means), get a better internet connection to manage any merging with the cloud (millions of mails are imagined in transit, for effect). It’s likely that plenty of data will need to hang around, but a bad internet connection doesn’t have to.
But even the most stable and stealthy of internet speeds need not be exploited. If you can toss an email to the trash, do it. If it doesn’t spark joy (or necessity) it doesn’t need to live on any server.
Saying goodbye is okay
Some emails can be deleted, even if the subject is not fully progressed. If you can log activity and where a project has got to on a separate, or more compact document, then you definitely don’t need 10 emails telling you the same thing. It will depend on your work situation of course but letting go is almost better than watching Frozen in the winter under lockdown. That snowman is so cute, and it’s just as heart-warming to have an organised inbox of emails you need or want. But otherwise, let it go (oooo).
One file at a time
What remains should ideally be organised into sensible folders, which are updated as the year goes on. Make a habit of filing new emails into their folders as they come in, or are dealt with, and to routinely go through the folder for emails you can delete from there. Perhaps once per month, perhaps every six months (but be sure to schedule a time to cleanse to keep it on track). You may need to face an elephant-sized task at the beginning (so many mails, so little time), so daily or weekly tidy-ups may be needed at first (or ongoing, depending on your popularity).
Whatever you really need to keep could be marked as unread to come back to more easily. But only do this if you know you are coming back to read it. Unfortunately falling behind on this type of admin can quickly pile up, making the need to start over (and back to square one in this article), likely to arise more quickly.
Keep your inbox in line so you can feel fine (#2020). Guaranteed that being able to access the mails you need easily, without having piles of junk mail to scroll through will make you feel more at peace, and in control. Those types of emotions are priceless these days. Joy can be hard to find, but you are just a few mouse clicks away from a little magic.