Coworker: "The spam is just awful."
Me: "I know, I am getting hundreds of pieces a day."
Coworker: "That bad! I am just getting a dozen a day."
Me: "I just need to unsubscribe to a number of mailing lists."
Coworker: "But all of that is important! Its company mail."
I disagree, its Spam. Sure, its not Viagra ads, but its mail I don't need to be reading. I've been at MySQL for four years, my role keeps changing, but my subscription list has not.
In a modern corporation people get signed up to new mailing list all the time. Once upon time it mattered that I read everything our connectors group did. Now? I subscribe to announcements and see what the output is. I make a point of pinging people and seeing what is floating up to the top of discussions, but the day to day I just do not need to follow.
Sure, I can put it into a folder and search on it later, which is what I do, but I don't know that this is really worth the disk space.
What made me think about this today? Zawodny commented today in blog on picking what to ignore.
Part of the trick for keeping myself on task is that I write out a list in the morning of what I need to do. I work on that list and I try to make a habit of not letting myself get pulled from it (and the list is done in OmniOutliner). The list normally has more items then I can complete in a day (though it has happened), but not enough items that I feel that it is impossible.
And as far as email goes? I look at it three times during the working day. Once in the morning after I have written my list, once after lunch, and then again near the end of the day. I miss a few ad-hoc meetings from time to time but that is rare.