Happy Canada Day, y’all! It’s a workday for me, but I’ll be off on Friday for the 4th (and specifically, I’ll be off camping. Psyched.)

So, a bit more on combating the WorkFromHome Vaccuum.

Step 4: Tackle email. After that iced soy chai on Sunday, I started going through my email, having finally decided to read the oft-bookmarked Inbox Zero posts on 43 Folders. First, I moved all the messages from before June 1st into a new folder. Then I sat shocked at the 198 messages just from June. Starting at the bottom, I went through them one by one. Most needed filing. Many needed to be deleted. A good bunch needed my attention. After an hour, I’d whittled it down to 98 messages, and I needed to call it a day. It’s important to note, though, that just doing that added to my feeling of relief. I started to feel far more on top of things, and just as important, I started to feel like I was accomplishing real work.

Yesterday I went through the remaining messages in my work inbox, and although I’d be kidding myself to think that means I’m caught up, I do feel poised to get real work done. The power of that feeling should not be underestimated.

I discovered I don’t need my inbox to be empty. Like David Pogue, who wrote about this last week, I use my inbox as a to-do list, and it works for me. What I need to improve on is moving stuff out of there when it doesn’t need my attention. And you know what? After I finished going through the old messages, I had an easy time quickly processing new ones. I answered those I could reply to quickly, filed those I needed to archive, deleted those I didn’t need, and left alone the ones that need more involved attention. So now there are 51 emails in my work inbox, and I’m okay with that.

And so yesterday I went back to my in-laws’ house and spread out and got some work done. Thank. the. gods.

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