Every morning I go into my office with my cup of caffeine and spend at least 20 minutes reviewing my five email accounts. My fingers don’t do much typing but instead keep clicking on the delete button.
Some are advertisements, some are recipes, and others are household hints I will never use. In addition, I get inundated with LinkedIn group updates and meeting invites from the 51 groups I belong to.
Mondays are definitely the worst. More than 250 emails are in my personal account and I only thoroughly read about ten of them. One of my business accounts has 80 emails this time and my other one has 50. My finger gets numb and my brain gets foggy from all the deleting. You may ask why I don’t weed some of these emails during the weekend but I do! These email numbers are accumulated from the Sunday night email gremlin who happily bombards my inbox while I sleep.
So what about deleting other aspects of my life? As I get older, I’m getting better at hitting the delete button on activities and obligations I no longer want to do. My new mantra is “less is more.” What might have been acceptable or desirous a few years ago is no longer working for me. Friends and family members are not always happy when I say “no” especially when I don’t provide a real answer on why I am declining. I usually say now “I just don’t want to do that.”
For me, it has been a wonderful experience since I started hitting that delete button. My life is simpler and I don’t feel overwhelmed or stressed out. I smile more and am definitely calmer. For the things I want to do, I can fully embrace it, give it my all, and feel really good about it. When I am with family and/or friends now, I give them my full attention versus thinking about the 101 things that used to be on my to do list.
Do I feel guilty? I did at first, but as time goes by, those who gave me a hard time now accept and respect the boundaries I have created. Don’t think they never push back. Believe me they do, but I just picture that delete button in my head still say “no”. The ironic part is that the ones who give me the hardest time are the ones who use the delete button more than me. I even have used the same phrase they use when I don’t agree to do what they ask.
If you find it difficult to hit the delete button, try it on a minor request. Over time you will gain confidence in saying “no” and hopefully have to use the delete button less. Enjoy the freedom, cherish the moment, keep deleting, and good luck!