Sisyphus was a king of Greek mythology who defied the gods and was punished, in death, to forever roll a large boulder up a hill.ï¿½ As it reached the top, it would roll back down to renew his task for the next day.ï¿½ Albert Camus, the French existential philosopher saw this as a metaphor for the absurdity of life.
So what did we do?
For boulder, read email inbox.ï¿½ No matter how hard we work, it will always refill.ï¿½ And, like magical purses of fairy tails, it will not bring ultimate wealth ï¿½ a slavish devotion can only bring misery.
But letï¿½s stick to one metaphor: for boulder read inbox.ï¿½ We forever roll it up hill to find that tomorrow, it is once again full.ï¿½ Did I defy the gods somewhere along the line?ï¿½ I donï¿½t recall.
If you canï¿½t keep on top of your inbox minute by minute; hour by hour, what is the solution?ï¿½ And, by the way; you shouldnï¿½t chase every email, as that will leave you no time or head space to do creative, productive, deliberate things that make a real difference.ï¿½ The answer is to stop focusing on the number of emails in you inbox for a while, and recognise only four levels of fullness:
Shangri-la:ï¿½ even a new installation will immediately place a welcome email in your inbox.ï¿½ This is a mythical status ï¿½ theoretically possible, but probably in reality more scary than we can imagine.
Okay, not really empty, but you can see white space on your screen ï¿½ tip: get a bigger screen
Your inbox has escaped your control.ï¿½ But unlike Sisyphus, donï¿½t feel that immediately you have to start pushing it back up hill.ï¿½ That would be enslavement to your inbox.ï¿½ Instead, wait until you are ready to empty it (advice on how to do that in Brilliant Time Management)
Okay, now you really do have to do something, because you have let it go too long, and now your system (email or organisation) is starting to mis-function.ï¿½ Some employers even limit the inbox capacity of staff ï¿½ which then means people donï¿½t ever get emails once their inbox is full.ï¿½ This isnï¿½t a customer care blog, but if it were; Iï¿½d have to say: ï¿½how stupid is that?ï¿½ï¿½ Creating poorer customer service as a by-product of poor time management is like giving a student an E for maths, because they missed their French homework.
Stop your inbox angst.ï¿½ Forever chasing an empty email inbox is the very definition of the absurd.
Now, why hasnï¿½t Godot rung me yet?ï¿½ Heï¿½s late.