From the school of “you are your dog / handbag / desk / pantry” and so on, comes an article in the Wall Street Journal (for subscribers only, but reprinted in the Northwest Florida Daily News).
Titled “You are your inbox”, it claims that the makeup of your inbox reveals important insights about your inner life and character:
“If you keep your inbox full rather than empty, it may mean you keep your life cluttered in other ways,” says psychologist Dave Greenfield, who founded the Center for Internet Behavior in West Hartford, Conn. “Do you cling to the past? Do you have a lot of unfinished business in your life?”
On the other hand, if you obsessively clean your inbox every 10 minutes, you may be so quick to move on that you miss opportunities and ignore nuances. Or your compulsion for order may be sapping your energy from other endeavors, such as your family.
You then get a highly unethical but effective tip from Scott Stratten, some advice on being ruthless from Merlin Mann and a warning from Nancy Flynn (executive director of the ePolicy Institute and generous Hawk Wings supporter):
When you’re quick to respond with offers of help, “people use email to turn their crisis into your emergency,” she says.
Your inbox is an important source of self-knowledge, according to one expert:
Because “inboxes are metaphors for our lives,” Dr. Greenfield says, there’s no cure-all solution to inbox management. We’re all too different. But he believes an awareness of our inbox behavior can help us better understand other areas of our lives.
email, know thyself, productivity, information management, Merlin Mann, Nancy Flynn, inbox, tips
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