Minimalism and emails

Minimalism is catching!   What started out as an effort to streamline my wardrobe to give me one less area of stress in my life, now permeates almost all of it.

I find it impossible to apply minimalist principles to one area only and compartmentalise others so that minimalism won’t touch them!

EmailFor example, I was working one day and a colleague came up to ask me a question. I opened my in-box to look for a relevant email and they exclaimed: ‘Oh, you’ve hardly any emails. I’d love to be like that but I’m just so busy’.



Where do I start?!

  • Annoyance that a full in-box equates to being busy?
  • Irritation at the suggestion that having few emails was the equivalent of having no work?
  • Exasperation at the pride some take in being busy?  Well, busy doing what? Not tending to your emails, that’s for sure!!


I am as ruthless with emails as I am with clutter. Ones that require action are dealt with as soon as possible. Really important ones are saved for reference, but these are actually few and far between. In common with a lot of people, I get a lot of ‘junk’ emails that don’t require an answer or an action, so I just delete them.   I don’t feel the need to have them remain in my in-box in order to look busy!

So, I hold on to emails that add value and let go the ones that detract and distract and add no value. A bit like my clutter then.

My de-cluttering muscle has certainly built up over the past few years, to the extent I hardly even realise I’m using it now. Except when it’s pointed out to me by a friendly colleague 😉

Have a great week 😊

  12 comments for “Minimalism and emails

  1. February 25, 2019 at 8:30 pm

    Well said. Unlike my wardrobe, I’ve never had any problem being minimalistic with my email boxes x

    Liked by 1 person

    • February 25, 2019 at 9:11 pm

      That’s why you were always a shining light of efficiency, Nik! Lxx

      Liked by 1 person

  2. February 24, 2019 at 4:25 pm

    Clutter is clutter no matter the medium. I am also ruthless about addressing emails on a regular basis and use two accounts. One for personal and one for business so that part of the separating is done for me automatically. Our firm does have to keep email records and find the folder filing system works best and is universal for being able to access where ever we are. On the personal side…the weekly post from always gets opened and read!

    Liked by 1 person

    • February 24, 2019 at 10:19 pm

      Oh, thank you, Laurel – always so warm and supportive!! I totally agree with you, about not letting the medium confuse us – clutter is clutter in any medium! Lxx


  3. February 24, 2019 at 2:19 pm

    I am so bad about deleting emails. I worked in an industry where documentation is everything so I got into a habit of saving everything but a cluttered inbox is nothing but a trap. This is a good reminder to me to clean out all that digital junk that piles up. I will never need it, why just leave it there?

    Liked by 1 person

    • February 24, 2019 at 10:17 pm

      It’s so difficult, isn’t it Cristy? Of course we want to save the valuable stuff that we will need in the future but somehow it gets caught up with the ‘rubbish’, in a way that we would never tolerate with physical clutter! It’s a battle!! Lxx

      Liked by 1 person

  4. February 24, 2019 at 10:57 am

    You’ve inspired me to keep on top of my Inbox. I do it periodically, not regularly, and it’s so satisfying – it just feels so much better when you go into your email and its beautifully ordered. I find it stressful now to have too many emails – and I once had over 4,000 in one account alone (that was less to do with being busy than it was to do with being lazy). I’m going now to hit “delete”, thanks Lol!

    Liked by 1 person

    • February 24, 2019 at 12:15 pm

      Hi Julie, I find having too many emails very stressful and indeed unnecessary. But they can creep up so easily. Good luck with your deletion project!! Lxx

      Liked by 1 person

      • February 24, 2019 at 12:20 pm

        It’s a glorious day here in Norfolk 😎 How about where you are?

        Liked by 1 person

        • February 24, 2019 at 2:55 pm

          I can say with joy, Julie, that I’m in my home town of Dublin where it is a lovely spring day! Lxx

          Liked by 1 person

  5. sadiewolf2014
    February 24, 2019 at 9:50 am

    Yes, the cult of busy is so annoying. It’s a pressure people feel to act as though stress is some kind of badge of honour, and justifies their value at work. My workplace culture was the same and I was just as bad, unfortunately!

    Liked by 1 person

    • February 24, 2019 at 10:38 am

      Hi there, thanks for commenting! The so-called ‘badge of honour’ is so misplaced and annoying and unfortunately so easy to get pulled into. I’ve been guilty of that so often myself! But awareness is half the battle! Lxx

      Liked by 1 person

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