This year I have been a lot more focused on eliminating clutter and not wasting space or time with things that don’t fit in my life. I shared with you the massive purge but I did two months ago clearing the house of useless or under utilized toys, papers, books and clothes. This week I focused on a less obvious waste of my mental space and time, junk email. I try to keep my unread emails to under 100 because anything more than that makes me anxious but I know people with thousands of unread emails, the thought of which would probably paralyze me with panic or fear that I might miss something important. To mange this I usually spend anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes every day cleaning up my email inbox, sifting through unwanted and unsolicited emails from retailers and various businesses in an attempt not to miss an important piece of information from my kid’s school or soccer club or a friend that might be buried in my email box.
It’s a common problem that is easily remedied by taking an extra step or two and I am sure that I’m in good company with those that usually take the shortcut and just delete it. All of those shortcuts add up to lots of time wasted, so this week I decided to spend the extra few seconds per email and click the unsubscribe to permanently rid myself of these clutter emails.
As much of this post is about emails, it’s about much more than that. It’s about all the things that we avoid, defer and procrastinate. By addressing these things with a few extra steps in the short term we can eliminate the time and energy draining activities that distract us from opportunities in the long term and give us back the most precious gift, time for more important things.