The big thing floating around the online world lately is "email bankruptcy." Have you heard of it? The basic gist is that you clean out your inbox and start fresh. Along with starting fresh you make a conscious decision as to how to handle the flood going forward.
How to do this? Archive, delete or reply to every email in your inbox until it's empty. The follow up step is "inbox zero", in which you keep it at zero unread and unprocessed emails going forward.
This takes a mountain of self discipline, but I started today on my work email, and it was almost refreshing. It's also immediately rewarding as you watch that swell of hundreds of emails dwindle, bits and pieces off to the trash bucket or an archive. Amazingly few you''ll find require any action.
So for me, I'm taking it one step further. I'm declaring digital bankruptcy. I'm cleaning out the in boxes and I'm clearing out that list of websites I promised myself to visit again. Along with that, I've decided for Flickr that I'm clearing the slate of being obligated to comment. This means that if I don't comment on a picture within a couple days of it being posted, I won't hate myself if I don't go back and comment. More of the thought being I won't hold myself accountable to ferret out and comment on all of my contacts latest goodies.
I've got over 100 contacts again, and as part of my digital bankruptcy, I'm planning on cutting back that number and focusing my viewing towards those that reciprocate. (I love being able to use big words.)
So if you haven't commented in a while, or even at least replied to some of my comments on your stream, you may find yourself with one less routine commenter. I love to comment but I find myself most weeks leaving over 100 comments, with the occasional day I make over 100 comments. (for this count, I'm including the ones where I simply write, "great stuff". :) )
Anyway, I suggest that each of us online addicts take a few minutes to reflect on that stuff we have on the old to read list, and either read it, delete it, reply to it, or put it away out of our in boxes and to do lists.
Can you achieve an empty inbox?