Well, I did it.  I took the leap of faith and I did it.

Did what, you might ask.

I deleted or archived over 3500 emails!! And that was from ONE folder, not even my entire gmail system.

I won’t lie to you, it wasn’t easy.  And it wasn’t quick.

In fact, it technically took two days to totally and completely go through with it.  Sometime in late December I deleted a bunch of old stuff and played around a little with my filters, my folders and my massive, stockpile of unread emails.

But it wasn’t enough.

Every time I logged into my account, I saw folders with hundreds of unread emails.  You know, you keep them unread so you’ll go back and deal with them later.  Then two months…three months…six months…and more…go by and they’re still there, hanging around.

Unread.

Taunting you.

Holding you back.

And just messing with your overall mojo.

So I decided that today it had to be done.  I had to conquer the best.

I figure if I’ve been spending all these days (and weeks) working on clearing up my life and my business goals, as well as scrubbing and rubbing the body, and scheduling wellness visits to the doctors and the dentist, then I needed to get the email under control.

As I write this, I have a mere 16 unread emails.  And yes, most of those are the emails that I still need to do something with.

My business account (from which I deleted archived what.ever’d over 3500 emails) now had emails in it that go back to Labor Day weekend and no later.  I have other folders that are completely empty.

I wish I had an easy 3-step system that could walk you through the process in a completely painless way.  But sadly, I don’t.*  You just have to find the courage, suck it up, and hit the button.

I would suggest that you keep two things in mind…

1) folders are your friend. I created a folder just so I had a safe space to put emails I did want to save while I deleted the stuff I didn’t want.

2) give yourself permission to take a couple days and work through things bit by bit.  It’s all a process.

The way I see it…if I haven’t responded to something within the past 5 or 6 months, then it’s probably not important enough for me to ever get around to doing.

Harsh? Maybe.  But really, it’s just truthful.

And when you come down to it, I use Gmail for a reason.  And more than likely, it turns out that I really do need that one email, I’ll find it in the archives.

What do you say, are you ready to tackle the beast? 

These tips from LifeHacker might help.