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My Inbox Needed Help


Thank goodness I have found a way to make a contribution to society and to my business without having to be Organizational Man, because I am not. I mean, I possess some rudimentary processes and systems that I use on occasion, but more importantly I have lots of process and systems adept talent on my team who help compensate for lack thereof (it’s hard to write weakness).

However, handling my Inbox is solely my responsibility and when I am good at it, I am very, very good, and when I am bad at it, I’m horrid.


This past Sunday, I noticed I had 5229 emails in my Inbox. They were not in files or folders. It was like a giant, digital closet full of good, bad and indifferent stuff all piled one on top of another. As long as that closet door was shut, it was all out of sight and out of mind.

The problem was, I was getting to be more and more afraid to open my closet door because I knew it would be so overwhelming that my mind would probably blow a fuse because of information overload.

So, the rudimentary process and systems part of my brain kicked in:

  1. Get rid of what I didn’t need
  2. Systematize/file what’s left
  3. Never let my digital closet get so full and unruly, ever, ever, ever again (this was probably a pipe dream, but it seemed sensible enough to at least list)
Hours and hours later, everything started blurring together and all I really wanted to do was push the empty Inbox button. However, there isn’t one. Damn Bill Gates. After getting my email down to a more manageable 2413, I decided to close the closet door, at least for the evening.

I also thought about blowing up my laptop, but anger management is another challenge (weakness) as well as off blog.

Just as I was closing my Inbox, I noticed an email from an old friend in Richmond. Without reading it, I pushed the reply button and banged out a quick note, pushed send, and with that, shut down my little “I’m supposed to make your life easier, but I’m not” machine.

The next day, what do I do but start the madness over again by pushing the on button.

I quickly open to my slightly less stuffed Inbox, and there, waiting for me, was the following reply from my friend in Richmond:


Only you would take five and a half years to answer an email. In fact, in the email I sent you, my kid was entering eighth grade and now she’s a college freshman at Sarah Lawrence College in New York …

Humbled, I began pushing my trusty old delete button as more and more emails disappeared into cyber heaven or hell for good.

For all I know, one of them could have been from a childhood sweetheart, still waiting for me to reply to her request to take her to the prom.



><(("> Tom Laughon
Tom is affectionately known as BIG ><(("> at Catch Your Limit

Catch Your Limit
Management Guides & Fish Cleaning Services
><(("> Camps in Tallahassee, Florida and Richmond, Virginia
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