apple-mail.jpgI admit it, I have a serious condition. It is commonly referred to as OCD or obsessive-compulsive disorder. But my OCD is not typical.

I am obsessive and compulsive about emails.

Like most people in the tech industry, I get tons of emails. To be honest, I will go out and say, I probably get more emails than the average guy in tech. Why?

  • I get email notifications of every single update that happens in my business automatically.
  • Blogging related emails (all the press releases, tons of tips from readers, etc.)
  • SEO emails (people think I am a help desk)
  • Google emails (when Google has issues, I act as Google’s help desk also)
  • Standard client emails throughout the day, of course.
  • Internal RB emails.
  • Friend/Family emails.
  • Of course, SPAM

I am pretty sure I ordered the list above in volume order. It gets overwhelming sometimes.

But what makes it worse is that I am obsessive over not having email in my inbox. I absolutely hate having email in my inbox. I also hate not knowing if there is new email in my inbox that should be filed away quickly.

My email filing system is pretty good. Here is a sample structure but not exact:

– Search Related
— Search Engine Roundtable
— SER Advertising
— Google
— Yahoo
— Microsoft
— Design
— Pulse
— Seals
— Misc
— Search Engine Land
— Google
— Yahoo
— Microsoft
— Misc
— SEW Blog
— Conferences
— PubCon
— Misc
— Forums
— Cre8asite

– RB Related
— RB Clients
— Client X
— Client Y
— Client Z (and so on)
— Prospects
— Biz Development
— Hosting
— Email
— Servers
— Network
— Security
— Employees
— Employee A
— Employee B
— Employee C…
— Legal
— Affiliate
— Receipts
— Promotions

– Personal
— Wife
— Dad
— Basketball
— Misc

This list goes on and on…But I need to stop somewhere…

Then I use Smart Folders for quicker access to some type of mail. I won’t get too specific here also.

Now, if an email is not filed away quickly and I know it should be, it really bothers me.

What is worse, is that if I am not by my computer, I live on my Treo. I am the rude guy who you are having dinner with and while talking to me, I am going through my email on my Treo. I am also the guy who is walking from my office to the bathroom, reading email on my Treo. I am also the guy who is responding to emails while driving 75 MPH on the highway (I know!). The list goes on.

But it all goes back to me being compulsive and obsessive about email and email not being in my inbox. Well, I do sometimes see the bottom of my inbox and that feeling, is something I cannot describe.

Update: I am live doing the Search Pulse radio show and I am checking email! I am sick!

Website Comments

  1. elprezidente

    First! šŸ˜‰

    RB you are not alone. I too suffer from email OCD and have been searching for a cure for many years. It only became worse when I got my first Blackberry.

    I think it stems from not wanting to miss anything … I don’t know. Good Luck!

  2. Candy

    Barry, I have a similar problem… I can’t stop going back to READ my SENT emails. What is up with that? If I could just STOP that, I would get so much more done, but NO… I have to read it over and over, as if I didn’t know what it said, HECK, I WROTE IT! I darn well KNOW what it said!

    I need therapy. šŸ™

    Keep up the great work!

  3. Shea

    I have the same problem. My problem is that I am in a PhD program and have to be on the computer A LOT. I have 4 websites/emails i go through in a cycle over and over and over. Yahoo email, aol email, gmail email, and facebook. I always go in that order and as soon as im done with facebook i go right back to Yahoo and start the cycle over…just in case something was sent in the time it took me to get through the other ones. I can leave my computer and never think about being on the internet or checking my email at all…but when I am on, I can’t stop checking my email. Which means I get very little done on a daily basis for school if I am sitting on my computer. I guess a start to the answer might be to write my papers the old fashion way with pen and paper and turn my computer on to type them all out. Its very frustrating!!!

  4. Marcelo Carneiro

    Great post. I have OCD and my inbox is full of mail waiting for response… Imagine…

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