How to Declutter Your Inbox, part 2

Yesterday I shared my Fast & Furious method of cleaning out an overflowing inbox. Today I’ll share my more thorough method.

Deep Cleaning – This is actually my favorite way to declutter my inbox. It does take more time, but it’s far more thorough and it has an added bonus. I actually UNSUBSCRIBE from the numerous lists that I don’t care to be on any longer. This will make for a much lighter inbox going forward. Even if I use the first method because my old, not used much, email account has maybe 9,000+ messages (just a hypothetical number, of course!), I will still use part of the Deep Cleaning method to get myself off of those ubiquitous lists.

For this method, I look at the sender of the first message in my list. Let’s say it’s Unicorns R Us (a fictitious company, as far as I know). Maybe I signed up with them earlier this year because my friend’s daughter was having a unicorn-themed birthday and I could get a 50% off coupon for my first (and only, it turns out) order. But somehow, I never got around to UNsubscribing. So I type in “Unicorns R Us” in the search bar and it brings up 37 messages (they send more than one a week!) which I have conveniently skipped over every time I peruse my email.

I click on the first one, scroll to the bottom to locate the unsubscribe option, and click it. If there are further steps in the process, I jump through those hoops, and boom – I’m unsubscribed. I click the back arrow and it returns me to my list of 37 messages. I select them all and delete them. Done and done.

Now I go to the next message. It’s from Goulet Pens (who I love, btw). I search out all of their messages and there are about a dozen. I don’t want to unsubscribe, because I love them after all. I scan the messages and notice that one of them is for an order I placed a couple of days ago. So I still select all the messages, but then I uncheck that particular message so that I can keep it until my order arrives. But I go ahead and delete the rest.

I continue this process through my entire inbox. Yes, it’s a bit time-consuming. Sometimes I have to do it in a couple of chunks. However, I have knocked out THOUSANDS of email messages in a few hours without just blindly deleting everything.

Once I’ve gotten everything cleaned up from the above process, I deal with the few messages that are still left. Sometimes they just need to be filed (according to my own personal system), archived, responded to, or read and deleted. Usually I’ll find that I have fewer than 4-5 messages, if not ZERO. This is such a wonderful feeling, plus it’s much easier to maintain because I’ve gotten off of so many lists.

I’m sure there are other methods out there, but this is what has worked for me for a number of years now. Let me know if you try it, what you think, or if you have a different, yet fantastic method of decluttering your inbox.

Advertisements

2018 Update. So Far.

I just read my Happy 2018 post and a) that was already 4 months ago. Wow. And b) it seemed like an update to that might be a good place to start with my renewed desire to blog. Which hopefully turns into something more than once every few months.

  1. Small shifts. I’ve seen the shifts begin to take root. Probably the biggest one is that I’m not going to just quit stuff because it doesn’t go well like I used to. My mindset is more along the lines of “just get back to it” when I make poor choices. In the past, I was far more likely to throw my hands up and give up. But I’m recognizing that whatever good changes I want to make in my life need to be for the duration of my life. It’s not a short sprint with a quick finish line. So I have to just keep coming back over and over and over again.
  2. Power Sheets – I rocked them in January. Not so much in February. Or March. Or April. And now that I think about it, May is in the not so much category as well. It was super helpful to use the Tending Sheet and maybe I’ll start that back up again. Or maybe not. Part of the mindset shift is figuring out what works and letting go of what doesn’t.
  3. While Flourish is the word, it’s kind of been sitting on the back burner. Maybe Perseverance is more appropriate. However, I also think that flourishing will happen as I persevere. So maybe they’re actually joined and the flourishing will begin to show up. I know I’ll be watching for it.
  4. The house. Well, I’ve been keeping it up a little better than in the past. Sometimes. I can still use some help here. I was recently thinking that instead of splitting all the chores up throughout the week that I might just take care of the entire house in one day. Then I don’t really have to think about it so much the other six days. Maybe that’s a better system for me. We’ll see. It’s also a good thing we paid some bills off since January – April was a much slower season with much smaller paychecks for my sweet husband.
  5. Cathy Zielske’s Fit 2018 course. I haven’t exactly followed along with the tracking and everything, although I still keep up a bit in the closed Facebook group. However, I have joined Weight Watchers (for the umpteenth time, but that’s not important). The Freestyle program is actually super easy to follow, especially with tracking via the app. In almost 3 months, I’ve lost 13 pounds and I’m really good with that. It’s nothing crazy fast, but I didn’t put the extra weight on crazy fast, either. My water intake has improved a lot. And I’m walking. A lot. So in relation to #1 above, when I choose things that aren’t the best for me (like the 41 point Salted Caramel Milkshake at Smashburger!), I just keep coming back to the program and the tracking. No matter how many times it takes.

There are plenty of other things going on, but this is good for now. And that will give me material for future posts. Posts in May. Of this year, even. What a concept.

And Smashburger’s Salted Caramel Milkshake with Haagen-Daaz ice cream? Dead to me.

long and short hair

Oh yeah. I also got my hair cut short again. Shorter than I really wanted, but that way I could donate it. And it grows fast, so it’ll be where I want it before long.

 

Rant Turned to Gratitude

My husband has a tooth that is broken and needs to be addressed. He’s been using some temporary filling stuff and that’s worked. Until it didn’t. It started hurting a bit on Friday (always!) and wasn’t much fun through the weekend. By Monday, it was getting bad. He called our dentist, but they are scheduled three weeks out. So he toughed out another day, taking far too much Advil and Tylenol, eating very little, and sleeping horribly. Then this morning he called to get a referral to someone else.

I rescheduled my massage took him to the oral surgeon this afternoon to get this taken care of. It just kills me when he’s hurting. Following his appointment, he was in a LOT of pain because the dental chair wasn’t comfortable for his neck, so that morphed into a bad headache. I don’t even know how his mouth is because his head hurt so much. I got him home and settled, then went to get his prescriptions filled. No, they weren’t electronically submitted, because the powers that be won’t allow one of them to be filled that way any longer. Okay, fine. Obviously this will delay things a bit more. I couldn’t stop on the way home because he hurt too much and needed to lay down.

It would take 30-40 minutes to fill them, the pharmacist said. Did I want to wait? Yes. He really needs some pain relief. I wandered around the store for a bit, picked up a couple things, put one back, and went to sit in the waiting area. Naturally, I pulled out my phone, figuring I could catch up a little on email, Instagram, or Facebook. Or something. Well, wouldn’t you know, the pharmacy area has no cell signal. Which I understand. But the waiting area? Come on, people, move things around and at least let your customers have service in the only area of the store they actually have to hang out for awhile. Ugh.

So I walked to the front of the store, leaned on a display out of the way, and scrolled through Facebook. But apparently I looked like I might need help, as the girl working in the Photography Department asked if I needed anything. Nope. Just waiting. About that time, they paged hubby’s name. Yep, 30 minutes later.

I got his prescriptions (all 4 of them), paid for everything, and headed home. As I was riding home, feeling a little annoyed about the extra time while my husband was in pain, it occurred to me that even in this, we are incredibly blessed.

We live in a place where he could get helped today. I was able to take him to his appointment (I don’t think he could’ve gotten himself there with the pain he had). We have dental insurance which will cover the majority of today’s bill. He could get prescriptions today. He has a home to come to and a bedroom with a bed in which to rest. He also has a number of people praying for him. Without posting it on FB. And his pain will be gone before long. It won’t be chronic.

It’s that perspective thing. I run into it often. Or more likely the Holy Spirit is reminding me that things aren’t as bad as they could be, even when they’re difficult. And so I am grateful and praying as he’s resting in the next room.

p.s. – thank you, no REALLY, THANK YOU to the oral surgeon’s office music for leaving me with Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys. {insert eye roll}

More Water

Here we are – January 31st – and I’ve actually achieved my water goal every day (well, most of one day) this month. I started out very small. I decided that a small, achievable goal was better than a big one that I’d likely bail on within a week or so. Turns out that was a good line of thinking.

My goal?

8 ounces a day.

Not very much when you look at how much water I should have in a day. But that’s okay. Considering how much I don’t care to drink water, I figured even 8 ounces a day was a big improvement. I also knew there’d be days when I likely would have more. Plus it’s January in Colorado. Not exactly water-drinking weather for me. The only way I actually like water is if I’m super hot and thirsty and the water is super cold and icy. So I decided that the goal would be to add 4 ounces each month and by the end of the year, I’d be in a decent place.

I was hitting my 8 ounce a day goal every day and often getting more. By the middle of the month, I upped my goal to 16 ounces. Which I’ve been getting…and then some.

there’s supposed to be a picture here of my tracker, but for whatever reason, neither WordPress nor Flickr is cooperating, so there is no image. insert sad face.

My Inkwell Press planner has a tracker page for each month, which has been a help, too. Seeing those little hexagons getting filled in is a bit encouraging, especially to now see an entire month. Yeah, I know, the 17th shows only half, but I’m pretty sure I got all my water in that day. I just don’t recall, as we were driving home from Kansas City that day and I may have come up a bit short.

The cool thing is that I never set a goal of drinking less soda. I just assumed that if I didn’t buy it to have at home and I drank more water, less soda would be a natural byproduct. And I was right. Oh, I still have soda when I’m out, but I’m drinking so much less than I used to. It’s a move in the right direction.

I’m already surpassing March’s water goal, so who knows where I might be by the end of the year?

1-7-17

How’s that for a catchy title? Reached right out and grabbed you, I’m sure.

So that Photo-A-Day thing in December? Yeah, not sure what happened there. I did take some more pictures, but getting them off the card, onto the computer, edited, saved, and posted? Not so much. But I guess I have some material for future use, right?

Well, Happy New Year! A week into two thousand and seventeen. I’ve had a bunch of different blog post ideas, but they seem to be like the pictures – captured in my head, but lost between there and the posting. Actually, I’m pretty sure they’re still around – just like the pictures – and will pop back up somewhere along the way.

On a happy note, I’ve actually achieved my water drinking goal for the first seven days of this year! Even more surprising, since I’ve been sick since Monday night. I don’t care for the taste (or lack, thereof) of water and it’s even worse when my taste buds are on the fritz. But I did it. I signed up for Cathy Zielske’s FIT 2017 class (again) and the FB group has been a good support and encouragement. And my Inkwell Press planner has a cute little tracker in it, which is helpful. It’s also colorful when I actually accomplish the things I want to track. While I may need to cut back on soda, my thinking is that if I increase my water intake, that will automatically decrease the soda. We’ll see if my thinking is on track or just a bit wacky.

Christmas brought some fun pen and paper supplies for me. I got a purple Pilot Metropolitan Retro Pop fountain pen that I just love, along with some ink samples (Goulet Pens rocks!) and a bottle of J. Herbin Emerald of Chivor ink. This stuff is SO gorgeous and amazing. It’s a teal green, but when there’s enough ink on the paper, you can see gold glitter and even a magenta-red sheen. It’s just beautiful. It looks different depending on what you use to write. In the picture below, I used a dip pen with a fairly fine nib. I don’t think you can see all the colors, but I’m sure I’ll be posting more images.

20161225_dsc06581

20161225_dsc06579

In the meantime, I’ve been sampling other inks (hmmm…have to find that photo) in the Metropolitan. This pen writes like a dream and is quite reasonably priced.

20161231_dsc06585

I got some other goodies as well, but will save them for another post.

What Christmas gift(s) made your heart sing?

20161231_dsc06590

Time for some ZZZZZs. Still recovering from the cold and I have an early morning tomorrow.

Manna Living

When God provided the children of Israel with manna, it was a daily provision (except on the 6th day, when He gave them two days’ worth so they didn’t have to work on the day of rest, the Sabbath). But any more than just what they needed and it got wormy and stinky. The point was to trust God for His provision each and every day, knowing that He had already promised to provide for them.

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Behold I will rain bread from heaven for you. And the people shall go out and gather a certain quota every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in My law or not. And it shall be on the sixth day that they shall prepare what they bring in, and it shall be twice as much as they gather daily.” Exodus 16:4-5

So when the children of Israel saw it, they said to one another, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was. And Moses said to them, “This is the bread which the Lord has given you to eat. This is the thing which the Lord has commanded: ‘Let every man gather it according to each one’s need, one omer (2 quarts or 3 1/2 quarts or 1/2 gallon dry measure) for each person, according to the number of persons; let every man take for those who are in his tent.'” Then the children of Israel did so and gathered, some more, some less. So when they measured it by omers, he who gathered much had nothing left over, and he who gathered little had no lack. Every man had gathered according to each one’s need. And Moses said, “Let no one leave any of it till morning.” Notwithstanding they did not heed Moses. But some of them left part of it until morning, and it bred worms and stank. And Moses was angry with them. Exodus 16:15-20

Interesting – I never noticed this part until typing the verses out, but in verse 4 the Lord says,

Behold I will rain bread from heaven for you. And the people shall go out and gather a certain quota every day, that I may test them whether they will walk in My law or not.

Will they trust Him? Will they obey what He has said? God gave the promise and the provision. It seems that some did and some didn’t. Which I suppose is indicative of my own walk today. Do I trust Him? Well, let’s back up a moment. Do I know what He has said? Do I know His promises? And when I do learn of them, do I trust Him and His word? Does He provide situations in which He is testing me? No doubt. Not sure how well I do, though. I know of more times that I mess up, probably because my focus tends to be on the negative side of things.

Where I often struggle is that I want to hang onto today’s provision for tomorrow and the next week and next year, because it was so good and such a blessing. His Word today might’ve spoken volumes to me, so I want to hang onto that. A particular Bible study really ministers to me, so I must hang onto it, too. A teaching I listened to brought conviction and encouragement. So I need to hang onto it as well.

IMG_1547-wheat

But what if I could look at life through the lens of Manna Living? Yes, that was the word I needed to hear on that particular day – and certainly it can still speak to me the next day and the next. But it doesn’t mean that it has to be memorialized and preserved forever. Because tomorrow I will likely need a different word from God. While keeping records and journals can be good, and certainly it’s a blessing to go back and remember what God has done and the stories of our lives, it has to be balanced with living here and now, depending upon God for today’s manna, and trusting Him with tomorrow’s needs.

Even in the Lord’s prayer, we’re told to pray for daily provision – “Give us this day our daily bread.” Provide what we need today, Lord. Not looking to stockpile for next week or next year. Does that mean it’s wrong to plan ahead and make preparations? I don’t believe so. The same God also says, “Go to the ant, thou sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise, which having no captain, overseer, or ruler, provides her supplies in the summer, and gathers her food in the harvest.” Proverbs 6:6-8

In Genesis 41, “And let them gather all the food of those good years that are coming and store up grain under the authority of Pharaoh and let them keep food in the cities. Then that food shall be as a reserve for the land for the seven years of famine which shall be in the land of Egypt, that the land may not perish during the famine.” Clearly He has them plan ahead and store food here. But I believe that there are a couple of issues at hand:

  1. We have to trust God to provide – in whatever way HE chooses to provide. It may be daily, it might be through storing up and planning ahead. But no matter HOW He chooses, we have to keep our focus and our trust in Him, and Him alone. We are not to begin to trust in the reserves that we have stored up.
  2. We can only know God’s desire for us as we spend time in our relationship with Him. We can’t know which He would have us each do if we don’t communicate with Him AND listen to His leading.

It always comes back to our relationship with Him and our faith and trust in Him and His word.