You may say this is a post about freedom. Or about organizing stuff. And oh boy don’t I just love organizing stuff. Or about noise, life, or anything in general. It’s your pick.
It’s Wednesday. The past Sunday I had two deadlines. It took some effort, but I managed to complete everything in time. I like it like that. When people depend on your work, there’s a warm feeling that joins pressing that “Send” button.
And then…freedom. But just for a while. Because there’s always a NEXT thing. Or THE NEXT thing.
When I think about whatever comes next, or should come next, a wave of anxiety hits me. So many things to do, not enough time to do it. Each one of us has a way of handling this stage. Mine is organizing stuff. Virtual or real, it doesn’t matter, as long as I feel I put something in what I think to be its right place.
No. It’s not OCD. Even though we like to joke about it, it’s not. Because every single time the tidiness doesn’t last that long. At least in real life. If everything it’s in the same place for more than two days, it means that I am not here. In my virtual world, I still have 0 emails in my inbox, on a daily basis.
That’s why I stick to the same email address for more than 10 years. It does say firstname.lastname@example.org, but it’s not since 2000. I don’t recall having an email address at the age of 11. I don’t think I even had a mobile phone. Most of us didn’t. And it wasn’t bad at all. Neither as boring.
An impossible to imagine amount of content is out there. Generated in quite a short period of time. And more to come. And then there’s the content about generating content. Content about how to market, organize, improve, plan, think, target audiences, etc. for the people who have the inner energy, resulted in many cases from the boredom of whatever they call “job”, and the content about relaxation, meditating, breathing, taking breaks, don’t_be_too_hard_on_yourself-kind of content, for those who tried, those who just want to admit the fact that you just can’t do/know all.
I think that trying to keep the pace with everything makes you less human than you should be.
0 Inbox messages. Once upon a time, everything was so different. Thousands of emails piled in the nowhere of the Internet. Subscriptions, spams, and from time to time important ones. I tried filtering the emails, but at that time, I couldn’t make that work. It took me a couple of hours, but I did it. It was tidy and I was happy about it, even though an “Erase all” would’ve been faster for sure, but what if something IMPORTANT was in there? The 2016 version of me, is definitely sure that nothing important was there.
Today I wanted to some cleaning. I had a couple of hours on my plate before my training, and I wanted to feel like I am doing something useful. My room was alright. But there were two, maybe three, folders in my Inbox that got my attention. Stuff that I thought to be useful. You probably know the kind. Newsletter with headings that you found interesting, but not enough to leave everything on the side and read them at once.
I scrolled and scrolled. I scrolled all the way down to 2011. Wow. That was an interesting year. A bunch of fun and not so fun memories. I like that theory where it says that in 5 years about all the cells in your body are replaced by new ones so you may state that you are literally a whole different person.
From the top. That’s how you should start this. I have opened a couple of emails. Started reading a couple of articles. This was taking too long. It has to be a more systematic way of doing this. I scrolled while I was thinking about it. Then I got to some newsletters sent by a blog writing about how to blog, things not to do and so on. Then to another platform newsletter. I then realized that whatever they were all writing about, whatever I found interesting at one point, was for content consumers like me. Content for people who want to create meaningful content. The emails I received in 2011? Most of the senders are not doing what they did back then. Some content was redundant. Some repetitive. Topics? Recurrent. Reposts.
I let myself carried away. Now I don’t know what I was trying to say with this post in the first place. The bottom line is that I erased them all. I deleted those folders and got instant gratification. I knew nothing there was that important to hover around, it would be a waste of time to try and find the relevant content, and most probably I will face the same content in some form in the future.
I have to go now. A 7miles run is waiting for me and then I am heading to the cinema.