There seems to be a trend today to stay in constant contact with our networks. That might work well if we only had one interest. But most of our are multi-faceted.
Susan Jeffers warned us not to be know-it-alls. In this age it’s so easy to access information on anything you might have a whim for. But the truth is, we can’t know it all. If we had no responsibilities, no work and only the Internet, maybe we could indulge all our desires for more information. Most of us have other things that occupy our time.
I have been struggling with an overload of emails. Friends and loved ones, business, causes, information a-plenty fill every nook and cranny of my Internet life. It felt like I was drowning. I didn’t know where to turn next. Do you experience the same thing?
I had to do something!
The first step was to take a good look at everything I had coming in. Was all of this really serving me? As Derek Sivers says, I wanted to keep only what makes me say, “Hell Yeah!” I may enjoy keeping up to date on political issues, but that’s not where I’m focusing my energy these days. It’s not what I do. They had to go – especially since I could get 20 or more political emails a day. I asked myself what the most important things were for my progress right now. Everything else would have to go.
Next, I made some choices about my various email accounts. Email accounts, for the most part, are free. They can come with website hosting, as well as the highly functioning gmail. Yahoo, too, is free. I decided that I wanted all my networking emails that I wish to “get to” reading, in one place. Things like Facebook and Twitter updates, job listings, marketing advice, etc. I unsubscribed to all my political emails and changed my address at all the social networking sites. (I do admit that it wasn’t always easy to change my address, especially when they have multiple people emailing.)
I am interested in personal and spiritual growth. So I used one of my other email accounts for all of those. This left my main email box for work and friends – emails that I want to keep on top of and that require a response. I also left those emails pertaining to my writing interests – which applies to my work.
The final step was to go through and tend to the backlog. I haven’t quite finished that, but I can definitely feel the difference! I no longer have the sense that I’m being pulled under water and unable to catch my breath.
Networking Pledge: I pledge to only subscribe to those feeds that I really, truly want!
I have time to tend to all my emails.
I only let in my scope that which I have chosen for my own good.
I am free to focus on life outside the Internet.
Tell me about your experience with emails. Are you drowning too? Or have you found a way out? Please share your ideas so those who are still under water can find some relief.
Next week: A profile of a meat packing company in the Chicago area that conducts business according to their principles and beliefs.