I just read David Anderson's post on how he just decided to Take Back His Life after his email inbox caused his email blood pressure to skyrocket.
David, you were getting 400 emails a day at the peak of the Beta 3 period for Team Foundation Server. I apologise - I was probably the sender of a large number of them...
I know exactly how you feel - in fact if I only received 20 emails an hour I think I'd be happy. I started getting this quantity of email when I first joined the team and rapidly realized I wasn't going to be able to cope using my previous strategies. Thanks to some advice from Chris Shaffer, our Test Manager, I discovered Getting Things Done and managed to get - and keep - things under control.
As a process for managing mail, this worked well - but for in parallel for a few years I have felt like I've been fighting with Outlook. It would take 10-15 minutes to open up and become responsive, and every so often would start giving me errors telling me it couldn't open or display folders because it was out of resources.
Two weeks ago I finally cracked. It reached the point where this was happening all the time. It became more and more difficult to manage my email and get things done - compounded by the fact that these issues had stopped autoarchive and email rules working, so my exchange mailbox reached it's max size and I couldn't even send mail any more. This was the point that my email blood pressure finally cracked - I felt more stress than I've felt in years.
I could no longer manage my email. And no-one knew why. We are lucky here to have a great internal support system - we first assumed that it was my client, but after reproing the issue on 4 machines (and baffling a friend of mine on the Outlook team) finally realized that we'd have to rebuild my exchange store.
After a week of basically being incommunicado, Outlook was back, I caught up - and I am so much happier. Outlook actually really performs quite well indeed and I now realize that for the past several years I've been working with one of my primary tools working at about 20% efficiency. If only I'd discovered this sooner, I wonder how much better my work/life balance might have been.