Free Yourself from Good Intentions

I spent quite a bit of time the other day going through old emails.They’d built up to such a point that I dreaded checking my email. It felt like one more thing hanging out there undone all of the time. Worse, I was starting to miss emails that required a quick response.

So I decided that enough was enough and got ruthless.

Because you know, there’s only so much you can do in your life. There’s no point in leaving things hanging out there draining energy that really aren’t all that important in the long run. Clearly if I hadn’t gotten to that email from September of 2009 before now, it didn’t need to be gotten to, despite my good intentions.

And that’s the thing. We all have things that we intend to get to “someday”. We feel like we should do them, or we’re mildly interested in doing them but don’t have time right this very minute.

But you can free yourself from unrealized good intentions without feeling badly about doing so. If it’s really important to you, do it now, or schedule a time right now to do it — and then let nothing come between you and that time.

If it’s just a passing interest, let it go. You can let it go immediately by hitting delete on the email or not saving the information. If that’s hard to do, you can let it go after a set time period or by putting it in an “on the off chance” file that has no obligation associated with it whatsoever.

Take back your time and energy, because it’s valuable and worth spending on the things that really are important to you.


  • Kim

    Jackie, so many times I have had to do this. When I get really busy, or have several irons in the fire, I have to ignore the phone. Then when I do come up for air I try to catch up and I realize that these clients are beyond me now. So I just pass. I’m trying not to do this as much as I used to by learning to not take on so much work. But sometimes you just have to let go. If something is dated back to September of 09 and it is not your grandmother. Run!

  • What works for me is a list! Then I just work the list.

  • The road to hell is paved with good intentions – I am going straight to hell!!