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Inbox zero, revisited, stage five

Topics/tags: Email, rambly, disjoint

No, it’s not like the five stages of grief.

When we left off in our previous episode, I still had 436 messages in my inbox, of which 247 were unread. My plan was to use Sunday to clean through most of them. But I also had other obligations for Sunday. Let’s see how far I was able to get.

I started Sunday morning with about 465 messages, 275 of which were unread [1]. Getting only thirty new messages overnight is pretty good. I cleaned up a little, but wanted to start the day with work on the Code Camps. Fortunately, overnight email is mostly mailing lists, so I was able to get through all but one of the messages that arrived overnight fairly quickly [2]. That’s all I could find time for that day.

Then code camp hit and, while I could keep up a bit, I found myself falling further and further behind. By the next Sunday, I was at 1,250 messages, of which about 850 were unread. Agh! Perhaps I should spend an extra hour each night on email, rather than an hour musing each night. More seriously, though, I do probably need to find at least an extra hour each day to keep up with the email.

There are a few relatively large tasks buried in all the email, most of which I expected. I got the data for placements in Mathematics, Statistics, and Computer Science. I need to run the placement system and talk about the placements with someone in Math/Stats. I have materials to read for the workshop on supporting academic success and student well-being.

I also got distracted by a discussion of static vs. dynamic scope in Lisp variants. I learned that Racket has a facility for a kind of dynamic binding, parameterize. Racket 7.0 also just got released, so I spent some time installing it.

And then there were the variety of tasks that were short enough or important enough that they were worth doing immediately. Most related to the department or the College.

After two hours of working on my mailbox, I’m down to 1046 messages, 671 of which are unread. Let’s see … two hundred messages in two hours means that I have about ten hours of work left to go. Even an extra hour a night is not enough! I suppose I could find a way to get less distracted by the smallish tasks, but I still have to find time to get those smallish tasks done some time.

At least the code camps are done [3]. In another week, I’ll report back on the status of my inbox [4].

[1] I’m not sure quite how many, because I started clearing them out before I started writing this.

[2] I forgot, but as I was going to bed, I had sent myself a note on some things to think about this morning. Thinking about them took about fifteen minutes. Does that count as handling email?

[3] Of course, this week will be filled with the wrapup with my research students and making some progress on Callisto.

[4] I realize that these reports are among the less interesting of my musings. But if I don’t muse weekly on the status of my inbox, I’m likely to find that it gets even more out of control.

Version 1.0 of 2018-07-29.