After a lovely Christmas week in the mountains, our little threesome returned home refreshed. We were all smiles, recounting the highlights and fun memories of our escape while we unpacked. As we settled in for a quiet night, we reveled in the ease we had cultivated through our vacation rhythms of games, reading, self-care, and a (delicious!) tech break.
At the end of the holiday week, I was ready to return to work and eager to carry this newfound spaciousness into the familiar rhythm of teaching and writing. But when I powered up my computer, my bliss began to evaporate. The blank slate of my new year seemed doomed to disappear into the electronic abyss.There were SO. MANY. EMAILS. So many questions to be answered. So many problems to be solved. So many details to organize.
I plugged away diligently - triaging what was most critical and time sensitive - but despite devoting hours to the task, I could see no real sign of progress. As I took stock of my inbox, I recognized impersonal notices about sales, promotions, and "special" events comprised a disproportionate volume of the messages. Some were newsletters I had signed up for, some originated from a purchase I had made, and some began to appear for seemingly no reason at all. But in this moment, they all seemed an unwelcome (and unmanageable) intrusion.
So I started unsubscribing - clicking the handy link at the bottom of every unnecessary correspondence. I reasoned that if I need to know about an online sale, I can check in with my favorite vendors. If I want to know about upcoming theater performances, I can look up my preferred venues. I also evaluated the various newsletters and updates I receive - and if it wasn't something I was legitimately pleased to see every time it arrived, I severed ties.
Within a matter of hours, I had whittled down the offenders and created the mental space to focus on what I needed and wanted to accomplish. In the days that followed, the volume steadily decreased, and I began to reclaim some of that hard fought spaciousness.
It is wonderful to have tailored information delivered directly to you, but when you find yourself more stressed than blessed by those resources, consider opting out. Reclaim control of your inbox - and your life!
Thank you for visiting the Starting Over blog. Stop by anytime for a dose of inspiration, tools to help you achieve your goals, and a community of fellow travelers. I hope to see you often!