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Email debt forgiveness day

Email debt forgiveness day
January 30, 2023 Sam Lord

I currently have 332 unread work emails in my inbox.

I’m sure to some this seems outrageous and to many more seems like amateur numbers. I’m confident that most of these are marketing emails I’ve yet to unsubscribe from, email alerts about server response times and meeting requests that I accepted in my calendar and never bothered deleting. Some, however, are real emails that have now languished for too long to be relevant, and a few too long now to reply to without explanation.

I even have five email notifications not dismissed on my phone as a sort of guilt to-do list; including three meeting requests and one that says “ACTION” in the subject line… I’m sure that one can wait until later in the week to deal with!

I’m not even going to mention the state of my personal email account 15+ years in the making, which has given up counting.

In fairness, writing this post has managed to catch me at the peak of the receive -> forget -> remember -> clear out -> repeat cycle of my inbox, which is well timed itself: Email Debt Forgiveness Day is only just around the corner on the 31st January (or sometime in late April, depending on who you ask).

The ‘holiday’ is the spring-cleaning of (all the multitude) of email holidays, created by the now-complete podcast Reply All. It offers a guilt-free get-out-of-jail excuse to send that one email you’ve been putting off. The idea is to include a link to the explanation page and reply as if you’ve only just received the email that you’ve been steadfastly avoiding. Perfect for the invite you want to refuse, the long-time-no-see-how-are-you-doing message from an old friend or if you’re especially terrified of conflict, the I’m-leaving-you-goodbye email, although maybe you should wait for February 13th – National Breakup Day – for that one!

Whichever email you’re sending on the 31st – good luck!