347 posts and 116 unread emails later

They say information is power. Surely it is. But the consumer of that information may be generally powerless if the information is too much to handle.

Emails and feed items are like an never ending treadmill that just keep going on and on and on, no matter what time of the day it is. As of now, I have around 347 unread feed items in my Google Reader and about 116 unread emails in my Inbox. Some of the emails have stayed unread since March 2006. Total number of emails in my inbox – 3647 (some of them flagged to be dealt with later).

I get about 150 new emails everyday. Yes, that’s right – 150 new emails and that’s not counting the spam. This is all legit email that needs my attention. At least that’s what I assume. Reports, site activity, mails from colleagues, blog comments, mailing list posts etc etc.

I get about 30+ new posts in my Reader from the 25+ blogs I that subscribe to. Slashdot seems to generate the bulk of posts everyday.

During weekdays (including Saturday), I don’t have time to read all the posts or emails. So they just keep accumulating. I try to use my commute time “productively” by try to read as many unread items, but I am still not able to keep up with the volume.

Tomorrow is Sunday. I plan to become wiser and get a leg up on everyone else on the planet by reading all those unread items, which I presume are full of wisdom and advice. Here is the slight problem. I don’t think so it is possible, given the time I have. So I can two approaches. Either I try my best and read up as much as possible, or I nuke everything and start afresh. Taking a cue from Nike – Just Screw it. Swoosh.

I like the second option better. It is always better to purge all garbage once in a while. Similar to the massive summer cleaning you do once a year. I guess meditation is also a way to purge the mental kachra. Call it serendipity, but the DELETE key is one of the biggest keys on my Logitech keyboard. I am going to exercise my ultimate power tomorrow. Yay!


Author: anand

Currently CleverTap. Founder & ex-CTO - burrp. A techie and an entrepreneur at heart. Have worked in US, China and India.

3 thoughts on “347 posts and 116 unread emails later”

  1. Even I would go for the second option….Things are important, you might lose some important piece of information. But if its something really important that went out of attention someone would come and scream and get it done. Ofcourse, its assuming one is always honest to all his/her work, which is a safe assumption.

    And as far as gyan stuff in reader is concerned…is there an end to KNOWLEDGE?

  2. You need this: http://www.indiaplaza.in/books/all/0142000280/all/getting-things-done.htm
    Related: http://money.cnn.com/magazines/business2/business2_archive/2007/07/01/100117066/

    The first ‘self help book’ [yeah I know :)] I have come across which is jargon-free and actually useful. In a nutshell – pick an item (in this case email) – if it’s non-actionable – you either trash it/ keep is as reference/ keep it as support material for your ongoing projects. If it’s actionable – you do it if its gonna take less than 2 mins/ delegate it/ add it to your list of ‘next actions’/add it to a ‘someday-maybe’ list. This works particularly well for gmail with its labelling and archiving – you can actually reach an EMPTY inbox – I am sure I will feel absolutely euphoric when that’ll happen. I have cleaned a quarter of my inbox using this (it had about 2k mails) – and the rest to follow shortly. (Though thankfully I don’t get 350 or even 35 emails a day – that would be quite something to deal with)

    Also read this: http://blog.pmarca.com/2007/06/the_pmarca_guid.html – an absolutely marvellous read – also covers dealing with email.

    With feeds – the best thing to do is a ‘Mark all read’ – my simple logic for not worrying too much about feeds is if an item is worth anyone’s time – then it will crop up again in those feeds sooner or later. Also, I dunno if you subscribe to Techcrunch, R/WW and other blogs of that variety – I would recommend removing all those and subscribing to a single Techmeme feed instead.

    Phew! Just realised that was a pretty long comment – that too full of unsolicited advice – hope it’s useful. Also good luck for the ‘next big thing’ – waiting with bated breath :)

  3. Ha, I beat you to the total. I have about 8453 emails in my Gmail. And yea, I do keep deleting the stuff I do not want.

    My Greader has a select few feeds, mostly mobile info which I _do_ need to read everyday for IGSM.

    My new mails every day count is about 50-70 though :D

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