It starts in my inbox. At the risk of losing all of you, I am about to advocate cleaning out your inbox and unsubscribing from the offerings you never get to. I would like to propose that the reason you never get to them is because they really don’t matter to you! And my biggest “I would like to see this some time, but not now, so I’d better hang on to it” email trap is is links to movies that I will never, ever watch.
Don’t get me wrong – I love a good movie. I am watching a great one with Taylor Kitsch (more on him later), right now, on the airplane, while I do something that every time management guru insists I should never do - multitask. However, I beg to differ. There is no mother or grandmother on the planet who has not perfected this art. And sometimes, watching movies sparks a creative thought that must be acted upon in the moment, or risk being lost. Mine was cleaning out my inbox and preventing further unnecessary intrusions.
This skill of multitasking isn’t limited to the female gender. My husband, Ryan, is sitting beside me writing in his notebook while he watches the same movie. (We always watch the same movies on airplanes and we always start them at the same time, so we can discuss them later). If you know my husband, you know that Ryan’s mind is always working, so during any action lulls you can be sure he will be creating something.
Back to emails containing links to movies…I cannot abide anyone explaining something to me via video that I could learn more quickly through reading, unless they do it creatively, and engagingly, with style. I could watch movies of my husband doing that all day long. Ryan shares value and wisdom with humour and memorable stories in his videos.
You can see clips from his speeches without cost at www.ryanwalter.com, or purchase his online training at www.inspiringyourbestgame.com, but there is no need to click-through to anywhere in Ryan’s free e-newsletter; all of the content is offered freely and completely in the body of the email. Ryan never forces anyone to sit through an endless litany, painfully read from script, taking twice as long to listen to as it would have taken to read for oneself, and more often than not, in the end, giving no information whatsoever unless the listener agrees to pay. I have decided that I simply am not going to bother any more.
I plan to unsubscribe from and delete almost every newsletter which forces me to go to a website to read further, or worse, watch a video, with the exception of the few I love like Rodale, and Dr. Mercola, sites worth far more than the time it takes to click through to them. I tend to leave tabs open, so for the most part being forced to travel to websites wastes my time during the click-through and slows down my computer function, which doubly wastes my time. And one of my worst habits is not deleting the email once I have clicked through.
During takeoff, I was working on my personal mission statement. I narrowed down my top 5 personal values, and a little into Lone Survivor I was suddenly compelled to think about how to free up time to focus on them. Even though there may be great value in the information I am going to delete, if it is robbing what I value: freedom to live healthfully, creatively, and beautifully, while cultivating my closest relationships, then it isn’t worth my time, and it isn’t worth slowing me down by cluttering my in-box.
As promised, back to Taylor Kitsch.
Taylor played for the Langley Hornets of the BCHL with our oldest son, Ben.
Our whole family thought Taylor was fabulous in Friday Night Lights. You can imagine my surprise when I encountered him just inside the entrance at a Canucks game, back when Ryan was an Assistant Coach. I immediately blurted out: “Hi Taylor. I’m Ben Walter’s Mom.”
Our youngest daughter, Emma, and her friend, Romy were with me. We ushered Taylor and his lovely escort into the Canucks Boardroom, where the Canucks generously hosted the coaches’ families on game nights. Taylor ate sparingly because he was in the process of losing a ton of weight for an upcoming role to be shot in South Africa. Romy has visited family in South Africa, so she was able to offer location advice, and I have a particular passion for acting, so we had lots to talk about. I was especially interested in how Taylor made the jump from the ice arena to the screen – by studying acting, and modeling in New York, as it turned out.
Jack Dorsey, Co-Founder of Twitter, has said, “I’m most proud of the things we decided not to do.” Taylor decided not to eat (much) for an upcoming role. I have decided not to hang on to, or even accept, emails that come from people whose advice I really don’t value or who don’t value my time. Perhaps when I am truly uncluttered I will re-think some of those deletions and un-subscriptions. After all, if they really meant something to me, I will remember them.