Via Lifehacker comes a link to a blogger talking about his "Backlogged Life". You know, those piles of information that you have been meaning to get to, but haven't?  It's a scary thing to think about.  Here's my "backlogged" life:
  • Read inbox & Unfilter emails : 450
  • Filtered email (unread/total) : 61,600 / 62,500 (I'm not kidding)
  • Unread RSS messages : 23,685 (sic)
  • Read work inBox emails : 523
  • Voice-mail, home : 2
  • Voice-mail, work : 3
  • Unread Library books : 6
  • Books in my nightstand : 23
  • Unread magazines : 34
  • Unfinished installed computer games : over 40 (Comcast Games on Demands feeds this addiction)
  • Unfinished, uninstalled, computer games : over 50 (and that's after giving away a box full when we moved!)
  • Books in my "want to read" list : over 150
  • CDs in my "want to buy" list : about 75
  • Movies in my Netflix queue: 132
  • Unplayed boardgames I own : must approach 500, if you include magazine games. I gave up my subscription to Strategy & Tactics after getting about 30 issues and never playing any of the games
  • Height of paper pile on my desk needing filing : approaching 12"
  • Open bugs : 110
  • Bookmarks : over 1000
Pretty sad, scary, stupid list, isn't it?  Although I suppose as long as I don't let it get to me, it should be okay. I mean, most of the emails I have are for mailing lists I joined but have never actually read, like of (over 13,000) and wxWidgets (nearly 9,000). I suppose I could unsubscribe, but that would probably take even more effort than it does to just ignore it.

But I have to admit, the unread books, unplayed games and desired CDs can weigh me down. And with the plethora of information available on the web, there's always a new movie, CD or book I want to check out.  And one of my favorite pasttimes is to flip through Maltin's guide and highlight interesting sounding movies.

I was reading something (maybe again from Lifehacker), where they were talking about sorting stuff like email and mail, into piles.  If you weren't sure you would want it, put it into a "Death Row" folder.  If, after like three weeks, you still haven't gone back to it - poof, it's gone. I may have to do this, just to feel "cleansed".

Luckily, the phone doesn't play a very central part in our lives.  Almost no backlog there. And my cell phone is about 90% outgoing, and very little incoming.  And I hope to keep it that way.

But it all feeds into a desire to simplify our lives.  It is a tough balancing act as a parent, though. You don't want to take away opportunities for your kids in a misguided, shortsighted drive to simplify, but you want to make sure everything "counts". But if we can just weed out the chaff, get rid of the stuff that just lies around the house, getting in our way, we would go a long way to easing the pyschic burden we bear.

But check out Greg's screed. It's very interesting and thought-provoking.

An Entirely Other Day : The Backlogged Life

2 Comments's my backlog

* Unread emails : ~50
* Unread RSS messages : 125
* Voice-mail, home : 1
* Unread Books in my nightstand : ~30
* Unread Comic Books/Manga in my nightstand: 10
* Unread magazines : 7
* Books in my "want to read" list : over 50
* CDs in my "want to buy" list : about 50
* Un-listened live concert recordings I own ~300
* Movies in my Netflix queue when we quit last fall: 162
* Hours of unwatched television on my DVR: ~20
* Unwatched DVD's: 54
* Unplayed boardgames I own : ~30
* Height of paper pile on my couch in my office needing filing : ~12"
* Number of other comparable paper piles around my house: ~20


Scary, ain't it?

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This page contains a single entry by Jonathan published on May 9, 2006 6:26 AM.

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