The blog of photographer and musician, Kim Ayres

Is knowledge power?

At the point of writing this, on my laptop I have 2 different internet browsers permanently open. One currently has 13 different windows open on it, while the other has 26.

Despite the fact I regularly archive emails into dozens of different folders, my inbox still has 848 un-archived emails in it, 193 or which are marked unread.

It's not that they are actually unread - it's that they have been quickly scanned and I've marked them as unread so I will come back to them and not forget about them.

Some are things I need to actually reply to, but the vast majority contain information - or links to information - I feel I would benefit from.

There are interviews with amazing people to be watched and listened to; incredible ideas to be explored; mental and psychological exercises to be carried out.

Some of them could help me grow my business, improve my marketing, and double my conversion rate; while others might improve my photography or editing or help me attain an entirely new set of useful skills; and some are all about self development and becoming a more enlightened being.

All these things are potentials for a better life, a better business, and a better way of being.

And the burden of them is getting out of control...


savannah said...

The other day, after being out of sorts for a few days, I found that there were 345 emails in my inbox!!! How the heck did that happen??? Then I saw that some of them were even OLDER than the few days I'd been inattentive, so what did I do? Canned the lot of them because I knew I'd never really read them all. BUT, in my defense, I know I can go to the different sites and read them there, if I'm so inclined...ever which we know know will probably never happen. (I think I have a very short attention span...) xoxoxoxo

maurcheen said...

As I said on FB, the day my PC died...:)

Anonymous said...

If you use Google mail you don't care how many emails are in your inbox / sent items because you can Google inside your email to find the information you need. I have 15,000 odd messages in inbox, 8,000 in outbox and can find shell scripts I wrote 5 years ago in seconds thanks to this. Steve

Kim Ayres said...

Savannah - I'll try and remember next time I email you that if you haven't responded in a few days, to email you again... :)

Maurcheen - I remember talking to a woman a few years back who'd lost everything in a fire, but after the initial panic and sense of loss, eventually ended up with a sense of real freedom. Of course I can understand that intellectually, but I couldn't deliberately put myself through it.

Steve - I do use gmail and know that if I search for something I can find it. However, I also have very common experiences of "out of sight, out of mind". The minute something is marked as read, I tend to filter it out as no longer worthy of my attention. So to trick myself, I mark it as unread and then I'll notice it again, and be reminded it's still useful. The problem then becomes there are literally hundreds of things clamouring for my attention and I end up overwhelmed

hope said...

I don't know if it's because I'm extremely organized or just don't get near the volume of e-mail you do. But I open it up, deal with it and move on. I have to. As the only computer literate one in the house (Hubby is learning) I take care of my personal account, Hubby's personal account, charity account, Hubby's business account and anything else which crops up for his business on FB.

For the record, by deal with it, I do mean delete that which I'll never read. I do have a folder for things which need to be revisited but it currently has less than 10 items in it. I'll bookmark something online to read later, but I go through that at least once a month to thin it out.

Note to self: don't e-mail Kim...he's a busy man. ;)

Jonathan Chant said...

I know the feeling well. I more or less keep up with emails but have a similar issue with books. The problem can get overwhelming. When will I read them all and in which order?

However, the fire story is true. I once lost more or less everything when my house flooded. You do get the weirdest sense of freedom and you do re-evaluate your relationship with possessions.

As for emails, I read them, answer them the following day then delete or move to a folder.

Pat said...

Like Hope you have just saved yourself another blooming email.
With all the stuff Alastair left - he never threw things away - I have learned to be more ruthless; I won't be here that much longer and do I really want my heirs to struggle with endless stuff? Any business stuff over 7 years can certainly be jettisoned. It's more difficult for you as you don't have my lazy streak.
Rather than be overwhelmed make a decision to get rid of what y0u consider less important. Nobody will die.

neena maiya (guyana gyal) said...

I email only one person every day and he's worth every word, every second. And I call my mother via the Internet every morning.

All other email get treated as snail mail. I had to make that decision, it's not that I don't care.

I know people think that because it's email and instant, the recipient must therefore reply Immediately. But if we were to do that, nothing else would get done.

Kim Ayres said...

Hope - you're exactly the kind of person I would employ if a) you lived nearer and b) I could afford it :)

Jonathan - I certainly had that problem with books in the past. Unfortunately, a side effect of the ME/CFS that still hangs over me is I can't read more than about 2 or 3 pages of any book without my brain switching off and I keel over. This means it can take me months to read even a short book. A couple of years ago I had to make the decision to get rid of many books I knew I would never be able to read in whatever time I have left on this planet.

Pat - you're right - it's all about perspective. Since I wrote this post, I have done a major amount of deleting and am now down to only 14 windows open on my browser and 30 unread emails in my inbox :)

Neena - prioritising is key - I'm glad you've found yours :)

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