Have you ever read the children’s story The Monster at the End of This Book by Jon Stone?
It is an entertaining story, starring Grover from Sesame Street. Grover knows there is a monster at the end of the book, and he tries everything he can to keep you from turning each page because he does not want to face the monster at the end of the book.
As entrepreneurs, I feel like we face that same dilemma when it comes to our days. We are ready to wind down and be done at the end of the day, but there is a monster that is waiting for us: a monster named your inbox.
How many days have you been in a focused state, knocking out task after task, thinking that you have accomplished so much - just to close out of what you are working on, take a deep breath, get ready to close up shop, then stop and think, “I’ll check my email really quick before I shut down.” Then there it is - a MONSTER of an inbox that has filled up with a whole new list of emails that piled up while you were working. By that time, you are just too tired! You are ready to be done for the day, so you MIGHT handpick through and grab the most important ones to add to your list for tomorrow or maybe even respond to them immediately. The rest are going to sit there until you have more time or mental capacity to address them. The problem is there NEVER seems to be a good time to address them.
This is exactly why I have clients come to me with 20,000 or 60,000 or more unread messages in their inboxes. It is not as uncommon as you think, and you have nothing to be ashamed of if this describes you. I used to look at my mom’s email account and see 6500 unread messages. I would joke with her and ask how she could possibly sit with that many emails and not do something about them. She would say “YOU can do something about them if they bother you so badly.”
This was YEARS before I became a VA, and now here I am doing that exact thing. And you know what? I actually enjoy it. Don’t roll your eyes at me, we all are a little weird in some way or another. I love the sense of accomplishment that comes with seeing an inbox go from 60,000 to a manageable size in a short amount of time. The problem is that not everyone enjoys it, and those of us who do simply do not have enough hours in the day to get to everyone.
Instead of waiting for someone to have availability, I want to offer you a few tips you can quickly implement. These tips will help you reduce your inbox size, and your overwhelm and help defeat that monster at the end of your day.
Ready to Do Battle With Your Monster of an Inbox?
I am the self-proclaimed Queen of Unsubscribing.
My belief about my inbox is the same as my belief about my phone. It is for my convenience only and not everyone else’s. My inbox and my phone are each a continuation of my own personal space and there is absolutely nothing wrong with deleting, blocking, or unsubscribing, as I see fit. I need them to serve a specific and well-defined purpose of communication and organization. If something begins to clutter them, it is not allowed to stay.
Don’t get me wrong, I love to get messages, memes, adorable pictures, and invitations (especially to a good tea party with a grandchild) but I can only cherish those messages if they are not getting lost in the chaos. Not to mention the need to keep track of important documents necessary to meet a deadline or even from a potential client reaching out to connect.
Chaos is the enemy of peace and productivity.
So as the self-proclaimed Queen of Unsubscribing, I bestow upon you the freedom to claim back your peace and vanquish the monster of your inbox!
Interestingly enough, in The Monster at The End of This Book, the monster ends up being adorable, lovable Grover himself. Just as the book ended up not nearly as scary as Grover expected it to be, your inbox is a manageable monster that doesn't have to overwhelm you. You CAN love your inbox again.
My goal is to help you achieve more peace in your home and work space by offering information and services that can enhance the function and atmosphere in the places you spend most of your time. In doing so, this not only promotes peace but also frees up time for you spend on the things in life that are most precious and pleasant.