#10: Why am I doing this again?!

A week gone to the dogs, the real meaning of productivity, and what marketing actually looks like.

Long day ahead so I’m chilling with a simple iced coffee, made slightly better by the company of J. Wray and his nephews. (It’s rum, ya’ll. I’m talking about spiking my coffee with white rum.)


My dog got himself beat up by some other dogs last week. Badly. So badly that one bit into to him and ripped out a whole piece of flesh around his neck. Needless to say, it derailed all my plans. Instead, I spent my days navigating vet visits, pharmacy runs, nursing wounds (🤢) and basically doing everything besides work.

It’s easy to get mad at things like this and think about all the productivity I’m missing out on. And when I think about all the money I had to pull from my emergency fund to make it happen, I cringe. But then I remembered…

I’m doing the work I do, and trying to be as productive as possible, BECAUSE I want to be able to take care of my dog. I also saved up my emergency fund for exactly this reason. This is what is supposed to happen.

Being able to keep a regular schedule and work productively most of the time is great, but we’ve got to remember why we do it. There’s more to life than work, and just because you’re not working, doesn’t mean you’re not living a fulfilling life. In fact, the opposite is true. Having the ability and freedom to do other things besides work is the fulfilling part.

Work should fuel life, not the other way around.


What happens when I give my friends marketing advice…

#9 It's okay not to be okay

Coping mechanisms for your down days and a timely reminder about wasting time

If you’re in Jamaica, it’s a holiday so drink whatever’s on the shelf at home. No one’s judging you. And if you’re not, well…get back to work, you wine-chugging heathen! But not before you finish reading this email though…


I had a whole email about mental health that I drafted to send out yesterday. It was a beautifully crafted piece reminding people struggling with mental illnesses that they are not alone and that they can get the help they need.

It was also a bunch of hypocritical crap. So I deleted it.

Because I have clinical depression and anxiety (and maybe a few other mental illnesses I have yet to learn about), I know that when people talk to me like I’m some broken, wind-up doll that needs to be glued back together with “professional help”, it just makes me want to scream.

So instead, I’m taking a different approach. I’m sharing the exact things I do to actually function during and get through my depression phases without doing things I might regret later. It’s a list I’ve honed over the years and while it isn’t completely bulletproof - my depression is still very present every now and then - it does help me to cope. I hope it helps you too.

(Important note: These are all from my perspective and based on my current life. Not everything will work for your situation, but some might.)

1. I cancel everything - Some days, I just can’t people. So I don’t. I postpone meetings, I push deadlines, and I put my phone on silent. Luckily, most of my clients are friends (or at least friendly) and my work doesn’t involve much time-sensitive stuff, so I can do that. If there is something I absolutely have to do, I do the bare minimum then skedaddle.

2. I cry (a lot) - My tears take up so much space in my house, they should be paying rent. Crying is therapeutic for me, so when I feel it, I let it out. I almost always feel better afterwards. (And when I don’t, I cry some more.)

3. I watch entertaining shows - Yes to game shows and cooking competitions. No to dramas and documentaries. Even comedic movies and TV shows are out of bounds for me. They always have some tearkerking lessons at the end that send me right back down the rabbit hole. Damn you, Fresh Prince of Bel Air. (My most recent fav is Big Fat Quiz vids on YouTube.)

4. I ask for help - Friends who have never dealt with depression are the worst with helping you through it. It’s not they don’t want to help, they just have no clue how to act. And when they say the wrong things, it just makes it worse. So instead, I try to ask for specifics. Can you get me some food? Cn you take me somewhere? Can you make a call for me? Those they can do.

5. I have a system - One of the worst things about falling into a pit of depression is having to get back to work and life afterwards and being so disoriented, you don’t know where to begin. Having a system for my life (using Notion), with clearly laid out tasks, projects and routines, means that I can see exactly what I’ve missed, what I need to catch up on and what needs to be rescheduled.

Shameless plug: I plan to share my system as a template in a few weeks, and my newsletter folks will be getting it first, so stay tuned for that if you’re interested.

The general idea here is to give yourself space to breathe, recuperate and organize your life in a way that you can take a break and return when you need to. And most importantly, to not guilt yourself into thinking taking time off isn’t important. It’s probably the most important thing you can do.

#8: Destination #InboxZero - we're here!

Sorting new emails in your inbox and connecting the dots of enlightment.

Keeping it 100 - ya girl has been super depressed for the past few weeks. So I’m gonna wallow in self pity with some red wine (Lamothe Parrot is my fav), have a good cry, then put my big girl pant(ie)s on.


We’ve tackled how to get to #InboxZero in one fell swoop, and how to get rid of those godawful emails taking up valuable space for no damn reason. Now it’s time for the third and final instalment in this mini-series - how to KEEP your inbox at zero moving forward.

Here’s the only rule you need to know…

Handle every new email in your inbox immediately.

Don’t leave it to fester and boil into the clusterfuck you used to call your inbox. Don’t put it off ‘til later when you have more time. If it’s one thing adulthood should have taught you right now - you will never have more time! Do it now.

But what do you do exactly? Well, here’s a quick handy dandy guide.

1. Emails that need a quick reply - Do it now. Reply, then archive. Don’t sort into any special folders or tags, just archive. You can search for it later if you need to.*

2. Emails that need a thoughtful reply or require further action - Add it to your to-do list, then archive. Your inbox is not your to-do list.

3. Emails with useful attachments or info you’ll need to reference soon - Star or pin it, then archive it. Many people don’t use this function but it’s super useful. Just remember to unpin items when you’re done with them (or review the list every month or so) to make sure this doesn’t get cluttered too.

4. Newsletters and marketing emails from brands you actually like - Read them, then trash ‘em. If it has useful advice, make note of it elsewhere. The likelihood of you going back to read old newsletters is pretty much zero.

5. Newsletters and marketing emails from brands you don’t like - Unsubscribe, delete. Seriously, every email like this comes with an unsubscribe link at the bottom, and it takes less than two seconds to click it and be done.

*Personal opinion - Folders are useless in today’s world of overflowing emails. Sorting takes too much mental energy and it doesn’t save much time when you have to go searching, so just move everything into archives and embrace the search bar and all its wonders.


OMG have you seen this?!

Shout out to the conspiracy theorists out there! There would be no unicorns without you.

#7: The Life-Changing Magic of Decluttering Your Inbox

Shortcuts to get rid of email junk, babies make grown men goofy...and tequila.

It’s getting warmer outside and I got my first dose of the COVID vaccine last week so the summer’s looking up! And since I forgot to drink with you last time, let’s take a double shot of this Tequila Sunrise and get this inbox clearing party started. Woot!


So last time we covered the first step in getting control of your inbox - getting that backlog out of sight. (If you missed that, it’s here.)

The problem is, these emails might be gone from view but they’re still there…lurking beneath the surface, hogging up all your space. So now we need to clear that backlog, and I’m here to help you to speed up the process! All it takes is knowing what to search for.

  1. Anything beyond 5 years ago.
    ..make that 7 if you run a business and need records for financial or legal reasons. Otherwise, get rid of it. Go to your Archives (or All Mail), search “before:2016” (or 2014), select all and delete.

  2. Anything with large images or attachments.
    Fun fact - attachments take up a lot of space in your email.* And most of them are completely useless. Search “size:5MB” to find all the emails with large attachments and delete the ones you don’t need (if this turns up too many results, start at 10MB instead, you hoarder).

    *If you’re email provider is sending you warnings about running out of space, these are probably the guilty culprits.

  3. Any email marketing from brands and social media.
    Basically, anything that ends up in your Updates, Social and Promotions folders. You never read ‘em and you don’t need ‘em. Just go into these folders, select all and delete. If you feel like there might be a few important emails caught up in there, do a cursory review to move these to your Inbox before completing this step. (Next time, we’ll talk about unsubscribing so you never get these again.)

If your inbox is very old and you used to get a lot of nonsense emails from the same sender in the past (like admin updates from university or that stupid game you used to play at work when you’re bored), there’s a way to remove all those at once.

  1. Go to All Mail or Archives, set the order parameter to Oldest first, then look through to find any past frequent senders you can identify.

  2. When you find one, right click on that email and select “View all from sender”.

  3. When the list of all the emails from that sender appears, select all and delete.

Whew!

When you’re done clearing out all you can, go to your Trash, select all and permanently delete them. Unless permanently deleted, emails in Trash still count towards your allotted storage.

Of course, this is not an exhaustive list, but if you’re dealing with crazy overcrowding in your inbox, it will go a long way.

Next newsletter will be the last in this email series. I’ll be sharing exactly what to do to with new emails as they come in, so that it takes you less than 5 minutes to go through your emails each day.


OMG have you seen this?!

I find it ultra-hilarious to see how a bunch of grown men will go absolute bonkers trying to entertain babies. You go, girl! Shake what your pharmacy gave you!


PS. I went drinking with my friend last week and we were talking about life, business and her thoughts on this newsletter. Then it struck me that the convo we were having was the very reason I named it Grown Up Cocktails and it all came full circle for me. Thanks to all those who read and appreciate my words. It warms the cockles of this girl’s heart. ♥️

#6: Is your Unread count depressing you?

How to get to #InboxZero in 2 minutes and become a happier person

I’ve been part of the #InboxZero club for years now. My inbox never overwhelms me and I can get through it in less than 5 minutes a day. I know, jelly right?

But don’t worry, we’re friends now. And if there’s one thing I like to do for my friends is help them simplify their lives.

So over the next three emails, I’m gonna share some very clear, simple steps to get your inbox under control forever.

Okay, ready? Here are the steps:

  1. Go to the “All Mail” tab or equivalent in your email tool of choice. (Some of your emails are split into folders and tabs, so we want to make sure we capture everything. But if you don’t have an equivalent, use your Inbox.)

  2. Click the checkbox to select all, then click “Select all #### conversations in All Mail”. But not before you feel deep shame at the number that comes up.

  1. Click “Mark all as read”. In GMail, this is hidden behind the three little buttons at the end of the top bar (as shown below). In other tools, it might be different.

  1. Finally, while all the emails are still selected, click on “Archive”. It’s the little box with the down arrow in GMail.

And there you have it! A brand spankin’ new inbox that allows you to start from scratch without losing any potentially important information in your inbox. Now if you ever need to find something, simply search your Archives instead of your Inbox.

For the next couple weeks, try to do your best to keep your Inbox under control by handling emails as soon as they come in and archiving the ones you no longer need. That will keep you at Inbox Zero forever.

In the next two emails, I’m gonna share the best ways to free up loads of space in your email junkyard, then give you a few solid tips for preventing the trash pileup moving forward.

Looking forward to it? Let me know. Also, reply to this email and share your (previous) unread count. I love horror stories.

PS. No cool things to check out or personal updates this week. I’m thinking of scrapping those sections altogether. If you don’t think I should, let me know. I did find this though…

Just kidding, don’t throw away your kids. Donate them to charity.

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