Thursday, December 03, 2015

Time Out Thursday - Deleting the Inbox

Pink Heart Society columnist Jill Kemerer is talking about how clearing her inbox helps her decompress...

A few weeks ago, I could not relax during my downtime. My mind kept churning out things I needed to do, and since I have a smartphone, it was oh-so-easy to check my inbox day and night. The sad thing about this? Most of the emails in my inbox are junk mail!

Photo from

Maybe it was the catchy beat of the song, "Renegades" by X Ambassadors (YouTube video is linked if you need to get motivated!), or maybe I just snapped, but I deleted my inbox.

The WHOLE thing.


At first I panicked--like wrung my hands, what-have-I-done panicked. Surely hitting delete all would have a monumental impact on the world, right? Visions of a bomb exploding or the earth swallowing my house raced in my head.

But I took a deep breath, cracked open a Coke and decided to let my email provider's trash hold the inbox for once. It felt good--no--it felt great!

Twenty minutes later, thirteen new emails sat bright and shiny in my inbox. Nine were from stores alerting me about their latest sale. I promptly unsubscribed from all of them. Oddly, they still keep a-comin'. Two were Loop digests from my Yahoo Loops. I need to read those, but I don't need to keep them. After a quick skim, I deleted each one. The final email was a daily devotion I subscribe to, which could be deleted after reading.

I'd already organized my inbox last year by adding filters to my most important incoming emails. Any email from my editor lands directly in a folder with her name on it. Ditto for my agent. I have a folder for other important emails, and I simply move them to the folder as needed. My inbox should NOT stress me out.

Now that I keep a maximum of ten emails in my inbox at a time, I'm able to enjoy my downtime again. I don't worry about losing important emails in the sea of junk, either, because I'm dealing with them as soon as I read them. Such a relief!

Do you ever struggle to enjoy your downtime? How do you tame your inbox?

Jill's second book for Harlequin Love Inspired, Unexpected Family is available now:

His Surprise Daughter 

After five years apart, Tom Sheffield is shocked to find his ex-wife, Stephanie, on his doorstep. The news that they share a child he's never met sends him reeling. Four-year-old Macy has his eyes, his mouth and, from their first encounter, his heart. Things with her mother are much more complicated. 

He doesn't understand what went wrong between them or why she kept their daughter a secret. And he's afraid of falling in love all over again. Yet he feels a glimmer of hope that somehow he can convince Macy and Stephanie to stay in Lake Endwell—and with him—for keeps.

Jill Kemerer writes inspirational romance novels with love, humor and faith. A full time writer and homemaker, she relies on coffee and chocolate to keep up with her kids’ busy schedules.  She loves connecting with readers, so please visit her website and find her on Facebook and Twitter.


  1. sometimes it can be so hard to just *be*...I don't have any great advice, but usually I can't relax, I change wherever I am - if I'm home, I'll go to the library, if I'm out, I'll go home. And I turn off all my devices, that helps tons.

    1. I'm much better at relaxing outside the home, too, Kristina! That's a great tip!