Hello and Happy Friday!
My posts will be not as regular for the coming couple of weeks. I’m going to be out of pocket for a good deal of that time exploring new places and meeting some new people (as well as some people I haven’t seen in a very long time).
Ahead of our impending departure, I managed to achieve this at the end of yesterday:
For the first time in nearly three years, I got my email inbox down to zero. I only keep items that require follow-up or near-term/immediate action in there, but that number almost never drops below 20 and is usually a fair bit higher. I couldn’t quite believe it myself; for a moment I thought I’d broken Outlook.
This is a fleeting victory. I didn’t win the Internet. (I already have 2 emails in there that require action tomorrow morning.) But for a moment, it sure felt like I had won. I’m sure most (if not all) of you can appreciate this.
Isn’t it sad how one of the biggest jobs we have is managing all of the crap that comes into our various inboxes each day? It’s like shoveling a big pile of sand with a kiddie shovel. There is a big pipe constantly disgorging more sand into the Inbox pile from a seemingly never-ending supply. Some of the sand requires much more complex handling, taking a much greater amount of time and energy to move. And at the end of the day? It pretty much looks like the same pile of sand you started with.
Why have we allowed technology to create a cultural norm where we are expected to be ubiquitously available? I’ve had people saying, “. . .but you’ll be on email?” or “. . .you’ll have phone service?” as if it’s taken for granted I will. My answer: “I will try to check email occasionally, but not daily. And no, I don’t plan to have phone service.” These answers have caused either confusion and/or concern. It’s vacation, people. The idea is to unplug for a bit–to be present somewhere new, to fully experience it. And even better, to share it with the people that matter most to you.
I plan to do this in the coming weeks. I’ll give you some reading assignments on Monday–they should keep you busy for awhile.
Have a great weekend! More Monday.