Sometimes we do things without really thinking through the consequences.
Okay, in all honesty, sometimes without even thinking. Sometimes it is just to tough to think about what we need to do next, and during those times I certainly don’t plot a straight line as to what this step will lead to all the way into the future. Especially when that thing is a little thing. Or what I think is a little thing. And especially when I am running on automatic pilot. Full steam ahead, sit back and get it done.
Well this kind of automatic pilot can sometimes get me into trouble.
Especially when I am not thinking through what I am saying. Which happens quite enough, in my world. But luckily, this event had nothing to do with my tongue.
It involved my fingers.
Now I won’t go into the technical details, because I am most definitely not a techie Gal. But let’s say it had to do with email and my phone and my fingers and wanting to clean up some storage space and my in-box, which already sounds almost to techie for me.
There I was watching football with my son, scrolling and deleting and not paying attention to my email any more than I was paying attention to the football game. I guess I got a little delete happy.
I realized I had never deleted any emails on my phone and decided I would do two things at once. Delete and spend time with my son. I got so delete happy that by the end of the game my finger was a little sore.
And then I looked down. I mean I really looked down and saw the date on the next email. It was one-and-a-half years from today’s date.
I was a bit startled. But then thought, surely it did not delete them from the big email in the sky location, just from my phone.
Oops! Well when I looked at my email on my computer a few hours later (you see how worried I was), I had deleted every email I had back to a year and a half ago. Gone. Kaput.
I began to panic a little. There was a day and a half of emails I hadn’t even looked at or read. Hopefully they were not any more important than a sale at JC Penny’s, a coupon at Michaels, or a promotional flyer. The kind I usually deleted without opening, unless I am needing something from their establishment.
And then I began to float. I mean it. I felt like I had lost half my weight. I looked at my in-box and nothing was flashing or calling for me to do something with it. No decision had to be made on whether to attend an event or not. Read this or that. Answer this survey. Watch this short video. Answer this question. Give me 5 minutes of your time. Respond to this. Listen to this.
There was nothing to decide. Nothing to do. Nothing to print and file. Nothing to print and discuss.
Blissfully I stared at my email account and felt free. Like my life was given back. Like minutes were being added to my day. Like I was truly free to relax.
Some mistakes are really blessings in disguise.
It was wonderful.
I felt like dancing. Singing. Doing a cart-wheel.
I remembered the days before email. When none of my time was spent trying to wade through incoming data. Delete this, answer this one, forward that. Before every teacher, coach, business, boss, co-worker, friend and enemy was using inbox to slice my day into frantic moments of processing their communications so I can get back to doing something else. When I was so unaware of all the things I did not know I was missing.
Before we had to sign up for discounts and coupons and points and then receive emails almost daily letting us know how many more visits we needed to save a few dollars. Back when we clipped coupons instead of loading coupons. Back when I didn’t even know that I was still 50 stays from that free hotel stay.
Yes, the idea that I may have missed something important did cross my mind, and then I figured that I forget enough things, even with all my daily email reminders, that life would proceed as normal.
And in case you are wondering, I guess most of the email was not important. I only got one text saying, “We are here at Panera, where are you?” Which just goes to show me that the majority of the clutter that clogs my email is not that life shattering.
Now I am not suggesting that you delete your email on purpose for a day or two, or even a year or two, but I am thinking about how to spend less time on email. Not more time. I may miss out on some important things, but FOMO is not my biggest concern.
So, if you sent me an important life shattering email last weekend and I did not respond, I am not ignoring you or writing you off. I just gained some free time and am a lighter, almost floating soul.
P.S. And if you have any tips for managing the pesky but necessary email inbox, please share. I think all of us could do with a little more free time.
Thanks for stopping by. Keep remembering what’s important.
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Join the Discussion: What have you done recently without thinking that turned into a blessing in disguise?