I dumped most of my earthly possessions when I decided to take the plunge and move across the United States. I drove 2,763 miles in about 5 days, making the solo road trip from upstate New York to California quite an adventure. As much as I hold very little emotional attachment to possessions, I was shocked recently when I looked on my phone and realized I had stockpiled more than 23,000 undeleted e-mails between my AOL account and Gmail accounts.
I no longer even use AOL, one of the reasons to go in and delete everything. It is a shame that every single major e-mail provider doesn’t make it easy to simply delete an unused e-mail account altogether.
So, I confess that I am an e-mail hoarder. I rarely delete anything. I am not even sure what the compulsion is to keep it all? Some might say that they need to keep documents for work purposes; others don’t want to get rid of information because it feels as though you are getting rid of some vital digital document that you would kick yourself later for trashing.
There are definite downfalls to being an e-hoarder. One of the most obvious is that it can take up quite a bit of space, bogging down your computer or device and limiting its speed. It seems we are finding more and more ways to consume and hoard digital data, especially with the use of cloud storage, not to mention external hard drives, which are becoming smaller in physical size while drastically increasing memory space.
Sifting through tons of e-mails can be overwhelming and time consuming. Even if you have categorized all your e-mails in neat little subfolders, it would be wise to go through and start deleting all digital nonsense you’ve been accumulating. Make your life easier, your computer run faster, your smartphone less bogged with e-clutter by using the delete button. This might take a while. I know that when I tried to delete some of my older e-mails my computer started to freeze up and nearly crashed. The process can take a while, especially if you are like me – 23,000 deep in e-mail and digital clutter taking up too much of my hard drive, not to mention creating unnecessary anxiety.
Life is hard enough as it is. Make things easier by cleaning out your inbox today. You’ll find a huge weight off your back once you do, and you will be free to be much more productive as a result.