This calls for some action.
If you're feeling at all like I do, I highly recommend these two articles:
Email: Fail (A Confession and Manifesto) by Simple Mom
Managing your Email by Gussy Sews
My favorite takeaway points:
1. Check your email twice a day. Yep, that's it. Once in the morning, once in the afternoon. I'm implementing this today.
2. Set up canned responses (and add personalizations to them) that can answer the same frequently asked questions. Side note: As a blogger, I get the same questions. Over. And. Over. Please, for the sake of all bloggers everywhere, use the "search bar" in the top left corner of the page to look for an answer to your question before you send a one line email that requires a three paragraph response. (Or search through previous Formspring questions... I get about the same 3 or 4 questions over and over again that I've already answered in length). It will keep us all a little more sane! :) I actually love getting emails from readers; it's just this aspect that's a little hard for me sometimes.
3. Use a five-sentence limit. I love this approach that encourages a timely, shorter response instead of a more prolific response that may not ever get written.
Overall, I really believe managing this aspect of my daily life is pleasing to the Lord because I can set up healthy boundaries that help me to focus on more important tasks. When I think about nursing my baby boy and spending quality time with him in the coming weeks, I don't want to regret that I always have my phone in hand, becoming overwhelmed by the emails pouring in, and missing those precious, fleeting moments with my baby.
In short, I love what Simple Mom says at the end of her article, and I hope I can adopt this mentality in my own life:
"Email won't ever depart my life, and I'm awfully glad I have access to this useful, free tool. But it's time to give it the rightful place it deserves: just one of several things I do in a productive day. It's not my master."
Amen and amen.
Any tips you have on managing email? I'd love to hear!