I decided to do some email reviewing this week, basically how many emails I receive in a week, how many I spend, how many are purely work, how many are to friends.
What I found was not surprising, I processed over 1000 emails in the week, about 100 of those were personal, and I sent around 350 emails. The sent emails is a harder break down between personal and work; many of those were forwards of interesting information or links that related to their work, but only sent because they are friends.
This does not include messages received and sent by Twitter and Facebook messages. I didn't count those this week; nor do I have any plan to yet, mostly because I don't see what much I can do to control those channels in the near future. In the past week, I was only on Slack twice, so that's something.
I'm considering making one of my Lent change projects better managing my emails; both to filter out information I don't actually need and decrease the number of emails I'm sending.
Filtering information will be the greatest challenge, both to make sure I don't exclude information I need, but also internally for my state of mind. Internally, I have very strong emotional response to the unexpected. Being abused as a child, having a very unstable childhood, and being the victim of a crime in my early 20s that seriously impacted my life have all combined to make me expectant of losing what little stability I have.
To attempt to avoid the emotion reaction I have from surprise, I absorb much more information than I need about patterns around me. That on its own is not a particularly bad thing; especially in the physical world. I notice patterns that often lead to stories, I've assisted in a couple of missing seniors cases by simply noticing a person earlier in a day.
When it comes to electronic information, this can easily lead to information overload, and collection of information of little to no value.
One of the benefits of this habit is that my journalism is informed by this overgathering of information. Again, brings me back to ensuring I create a proper filter.
Why a Lent Project
My own religous journey has taken me to many interesting denominations of the Christian faith; I've found that my focus on Lent has been consistent throughout. I use Lent as a time of self-improvement, personal reflection, and growth by challenging my own toughest challenges.
(During the year, I regularly make changes to habits)
What makes managing emails a good lent challenge is that I'll need to practice self-restraint during brief moments when I'm not doing much; such as sitting on the bus, and will be tempted to go into the filtered content (which I will archive for future search if needed).