Zero EmailDear Waverly,
One of my favorite bloggers, Havi Brooks, declared a total email moratorium a few months ago. And I have to say I totally admired her boldness and envied her new found freedom. When I turn on my computer and get a message saying I have 1,120 unread messages, I feel exhausted and guilty. But I don't have the nerve desire to give up email altogether. Havi has a few other ways to stay in touch with friends, through her Kitchen Table forum and Twitter. I still haven't taken the plunge into Twitter or Facebook; a little nervous about committing more of time to electronic communication.
I do love email, because it means I don't have to talk on the telephone, because I can carefully craft my words, because I can respond on my own time frame. But I've decided to try something bold. Not as bold as Havi's moratorium, but bold for me.
I'm taking all 1,220 of my unanswered emails and putting them into a folder called “To Be Read Later.” And every day from now on, I'm going to read all the email that arrives and take action on it within 24 hours: delete, reply, archive (for information I might need later) or print (for future action). If you've been waiting for a long time for me to reply to your email, please write me again and you can see if this system works.
The Grand Canard
May you have better luck with this plan than I did.
The emails I deal with every day, from work, volunteer efforts, friends and so forth, are all in folders. The ones that need immediate attention are answered within 3 business days. But those others...well. These folders are now like giant rubber duckies bobbing along gently in my data stream. Sooner or later they clog up the harbor and interfere with shipping. You know the worst of it? I do it to myself. I send myself dozens of emails a week with ideas for this essay or that scene, and I archive a good many of the emails I receive for later use or reference. Ack! Argh! Oh, and Waverly, watch out for Twitter....
Rubber Ducky News: for those of you who are duck minded:
Thousands of Rubber Ducks Land on British Shores
The Delight of the Duckie
Love letter: Florentijn Hofman
Photo: Art Exhibit, France Excerpt from Delight of the Duckie: Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman created a 105-foot-high inflatable rubber duck for a 2007 art show on the Loire River near Nantes, France. Hofman designed his grand canard with a large, toddler-like head and no neck, which, he says, “makes it more friendly.” The wildly popular sculpture was also designed to float from place to place along the river, and visitors never knew just where they might encounter it. “The Rubber Duck knows no frontiers,” Hofman says. The result? A jovial—yet notably peaceful—daily duck hunt. See more photos of Florentijn Hofman’s giant duck, and his other whimsical works, at www.florentijnhofman.nl. Under PROJECTS click on “Canard de bain.”