I don’t know about you, but once in a while I’ll have these ah-ha moments that come to me that are teeny tiny, but complete game-changers when it comes to approaching certain situations. Last fall I took a trip back home for a weekend alone at my parent’s unoccupied house. My goal for that weekend? To get to that etherial zero inbox. I was determined to sort through and reply to each and every one of those emails that were sitting there. After two days of solid inbox sorting, I left home euphoric. I did it!! I was finally the organized human my mom always wanted me to be!
I can hear her sounding off one of her favorites line right now: If you live in a mess, you think in a mess.
As I sat down at my computer today, I looked at the little white number taunting me in that little red blob above my email client. It was quickly approaching a number that just made me squirm. My scroll bar was so teeny tiny from the massive amounts of scrolling that had to be done to even reach the end of the page. It was impossible to find anything, and I had a mild panic attack every time I looked at my email. Every time I went to my computer at home to be productive, there was that number. It was sitting there reinforcing ‘how busy I was‘ and how much of a procrastinator I was, and how much I couldn’t handle life. Hah, super lies, but lies that effected my self-confidence none-the-less.
I had a similar problem a couple of years ago. I was over-whelmed with how cluttered my desktop was as I started really getting in to design work. Does anyone else love-love their screenshots? Then and there, I created a folder called sweeping and inside that I created a folder with that day’s date. I went over to the finder, highlighted every single file, and dragged it over to the dated folder. I had that same sense of euphoria that inbox zero gave me last fall. All my files were still in tact. Since, I’ve had so much more clarity going back to these folders if I ever needed to find something. I generally think about the time that I was using that reference and I have yet to not find what I was looking for. I definitely keep very organized with all of my normal files, but this was just for those extra things that somehow end up there. All the clutter.
After a year of that little red bubble slowly growing, today I went into my preferences and made a sweeping folder for my email. All the emails are still searchable, the bubble no longer exists, and anything urgent I already have down in my day designer. I am good to go forward with a clear inbox, and a clear mind.
In less than two minutes instead of a weekend.
…there comes that euphoria again…