Seven for May is over. I am fully restored, if I so choose, to my seven banished forms of electronics. Welcome back, Facebook, Pinterest, Jigzone, car radio, iPod, television, and gps. Gollum/Jack Sparrow, I have missed your voices telling me where to go.
I have felt both better and worse for being so unplugged for one month. Yes, I have felt out of touch, and I have not liked it. But, I have also felt more time in my life, more quiet in my life. And God said, it was good.
So the question weighing on me the last couple weeks has been—How do I maintain the good gain while “replugging”?
So maybe some of my new strategies for management will help some of you as well. Or maybe, you'll have better ideas to springboard off these.
First, email—Current time management wisdom is to handle email once or twice a day so it doesn't become an interruption and time sucker. Current wisdom is often wrong. For me, it's really a better use of time to try to answer it as it comes in. If I don't, chances are it may sink into the deep dark anonymous hole that becomes my inbox. Trust me, I will never find it again.
Plus, I just get overwhelmed when there is a ton of email to go through, and I procrastinate on it. Does this happen to you? So, it's easier to take care of it right away, and it actually takes less time.
Important caveat--I have to make sure I get back to the task at hand afterward. If I remember what that task was. For someone who can't remember why I opened the refrigerator, that can be tricky.
The other thing I did about email was to create a ton of separate folders within my inbox. A huge source of stress for me is the mental clutter of knowing there are messages, phone calls, and appointments out there in free fall but not knowing exactly where they are. Or knowing they're all in my endless inbox. Thus, a neat arrangement where I can pay attention to one segment at a time. Church, blogs I follow, writing group, theater, etc. All neatly organized so I can deal with them one at a time. Yeah!
Once a week, I'll now go through each of those boxes and deal with anything left over. Yes! I am going to love this.
That's one area of electronic clutter I am learning, through 7, to “de-noise.” I'll talk about some of the other areas another day. Anyone else have great suggestions?