I don’t know about you, but one of the most noticeable effects of this lockdown – besides the listlessness, the tedium, the background anxiety and the micro-aggressions that come with sharing too much time and too little space with your nearest and dearest – is an inability to keep on top of my emails.
I used to be pretty good at digital housekeeping and if I never managed to clear my inbox, I did at least manage to open all my emails within a reasonable time frame. Now I seem powerless in the face of an ever-growing number of unreads.
It seems so counter-intuitive, now that communication has been reduced largely to a digital space and we have all the time in the world, that I should struggle, but it turns out I’m not alone. Colleagues all talk of the same problem.
I think it’s partly because we’ve been robbed of our usual processes and our various “home offices” (read kitchen tables or attic bedrooms) don’t feel like proper offices yet. We are still in need of a routine.
More than that, though, it’s because I am still in firefighting mode, trying to make sure there’s something to fill the pages tomorrow, or next weekend. It’s hard to take the longer view.
But take the longer view, we all must. Things will return to normal – whether that’s the old normal or a new normal, no one can say – so it’s time I for one got with the programme.
So if yours are among the thousands of emails I’m sitting on, I apologise. Tomorrow is the start of a new dawn.