Cathartic Deletions

The other day, Chanpori Rith started on 43 Folders with a really insightful post about The Seven Deadly Sins of Instant Messaging. One of the things that grabbed me was the following section from the fifth of the seven sins:

According to the Pareto principle, you spend 80 percent of your chat time with 20 percent of your buddies. Identify the buddies you don't chat with anymore and delete them.

Recognizing this fact, I've spent some time going through email accounts and my instant messaging software. There's something strangely cathartic about deleting contacts I chatted with on two occasions six years ago. I still have a gaggle of people in my list that I rarely, if ever, talk to, but about 50 accounts are gone now. None of these accounts belong to anyone I've typed a word to in the last year.

As a clutter bug, this is a first good step. Next, I'm going through thousands of email messages in several mail clients, a plethora of RSS items flagged in NetNewsWire or starred in Google Reader, and a ridiculous pile of bookmarked items in the six browsers on my computer.

If you're a pack rat, building the habit of deletion can whet your appetite for disposing of physical stuff. Getting rid of crap I don't use is part of my five year plan.

Is it part of yours?

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