There’s been a surge in iOS apps that attempt to “fix” the way we work with email and they have me thinking, “Look what we’ve done to ourselves.”
In 2013 we’re so inundated with email that a lucrative cottage industry has been constructed around dealing with it. I can remember being excited to receive my very first email messages in 1992. Now I dread that damn “ping!”. It sucks, and we’ve done it to ourselves.
Merlin Mann recently had a lot to say on this topic. My favorite bit is the following:
“Put to best use, Inbox Zero is merely a philosophical practice of learning to be parsimonious about which and how many inputs we allow into into our lives—and, then, to responsibly but mindfully tend to those inputs in a way that is never allowed to hinder our personal commitment to doing the work that really matters to us.
Once you’ve dedicated yourself to making the things you love, every inbox can and should become a well-monitored servant rather than a merciless master.”
Sweet Mary in Heaven, yes. I check mail 3-4 times during the day. Once 5:00 PM hits, I don’t look at it. Not once. Look, I’m going to die someday. I don’t want my epitaph to read “He was REALLY good at email.” There are so many things that are more important. Like, everything.
In the meantime, good luck to all the developers and thinkers who are tying to figure out how to loose the email chain. You’ve got your work cut out for you.