Skills and Habits that Pay

Sometimes it is the little things that count most. A small cut on your finger can be a real irritant. Of course a cut finger will heal in a short time, but there are a lot of other little problems in life that keep us from doing the work we need to do, things that won’t fix themselves.


If we want to achieve more success with money or anything else, we need to increase our productivity. In this post I thought I would mention one of the little things that we can do to help us get more done.

Information Overload

As a person who is committed to learning generally I have long subscribed to newsletters and similar information on a variety of topics. I have been very selective about what I choose to sign up for. Even so the number of emails arriving in my inbox every day has become overwhelming to the point that I have decided something has to be done.

I know I am not the only one to find myself in this predicament. We all know this has become an information world. We all want and need to learn. Some of the best information is on the internet and some of these newsletters are among the best educational sources available.

But even if you are careful you can easily find yourself receiving so much email you will be swamped. This is not a good thing.

Half-way Measures Won’t Do

A few weeks ago I tried to deal with this issue but I found my solution to be insufficient even though I spent a good bit of time on it. What I tried to do was primarily to set up folders and sub-folders for a lot of these newsletters, using filters in some cases for organizing the email.

Outlook Inbox

Just Being Good is Not Enough

My inbox still had far too many inputs. A lot of the material I receive is in the form of newsletters but a lot is really advertising. I soon realized that most of those folders were just taking up space and made finding stuff harder—I will never have time to read them.

The truth is, if I have to spend a lot of time reading through lists of emails to see if there is something important, or if I glance at a bunch of sales sheets to see if something I need (like ink for my printer) are on sale, no matter if a few are helpful the wasted time day after day leaves no time to study any valuable material!

Taking a Hatchet to the List

No half way measures this time. I am now taking a hatchet to my email accounts! Sounds sort of violent, doesn’t it? But the truth is, unless I act to block a lot of this material from coming into my box in the first place, it will eat up time that could be better used elsewhere. And, tampering around the edges is not enough either; it must be a strong effort.

Hatchet chopping inbox

The hardest part is that so much of what I am dropping is good stuff—very good stuff. But I know I will never be able to read it all so I must quit pretending I will and stop the flood before it enters the door.

In some cases I have had to set a percentage, committing to eliminate three out of four and trying to choose the best. I am selecting only the best to keep and ditching the rest, no matter how good they are.

What do you think?

Are you ready to join me and clean up your inbox? Do you agree that it is a good idea? Do you think I can hold the line or will I be right back in this fix a year from now?

I hope to keep this lesson in mind and avoid repeating myself. Then, I want to move on to some other areas I can work on to increase productivity. Remember that The Law of Productivity is one of the Ten Laws of Money.