DSDC: Emails

Today’s DCDS Frame:

It is 5:29pm on a Friday.

I did not get good sleep last night. Had to get up after about 5 hours.

Didn’t feel good. After a longer than normal window of procrastination (laying on the couch scrolling instagram for about 25 minutes), I got up and into the ice bath.

I did my daily dharma practice, then rolled into 3 hours and 38 minutes of lecturing.

After that, I began to feel my energy slipping. I ate lunch and took a nap.

Even when exhausted, I keep my naps to 33 minutes or less (cuz science).

Woke up still groggy. Procrastinated for 20 minutes (on Instagram again), then deleted the app from my phone.

The decision to be excellent for the next however long I can maintain it has clarified itself.

Went outside to get fresh air and sunlight. Prepared water, caffeine, tobacco and marijuana for company, and went to my office.

Here I am now, typing.

I set my timer for 99 minutes. It shows 88 now.

For this dharma sprint, the death cookie I’m going to eat: Process Emails - Inbox Zero

Dharma Sprint Time: 99 minutes

Objective: Inbox Zero

Form: Processing Email Checklist

Hypothesis: Will take two or three 90 min DS to complete

Process Emails - Inbox Zero

This is a kind of ‘weekly review’ of my digital world.

A part of this review is to get my email inbox to zero.

I’ve been busy the last two weeks, so my email has grown into a sizable death cookie (68 that need some kind of action from me).

Today we’re gunna eat it.

First Dharma Sprint: 99 Minutes

I use Superhuman for emails (I love it).

The processing form (protocol):

  1. Start at oldest email, move up one at a time.
  2. No skipping, no ‘remind me later’
  3. Must perform one the 5 processing actions.
  4. Go until timer stops
  5. If possible, dharma sprint until complete (by EOD)

The 5 possible actions:

  1. Archive (no action needed)
  2. Add to notes (email content gets added as reference material to some project in Notion)
  3. Add to read later app (if the email is something long that I’d like to read later)
  4. Add to todo list (when email has miscellaneous to-dos embedded within it - I use TickTick)
  5. Reply (I aim to reply in a way that brings the back and forth to completion in as few emails as possible)

This is the form. This is the protocol. If I notice I’ve broken it (or if I want to change it), I have to come back here and articulate to myself what is happening.

Processing Emails Example: When an Email becomes a Note

The second email I got to was one from a friend who asked me to share a link to their business in my next newsletter. Since she’s a good friend and I feel in integrity sharing her product, I’m going to copy and paste the url of this email into my notion’s note page that I’ll use when I write my newsletter. Once that’s done, I archive it.

Step 1: copy email url


Step 2: paste it in the proper note


Step 3: respond and archive


When I write my newsletter, it’ll be waiting there to remind me.

🪞 Checkpoint: 36 minute mark

I’ve processed 14 emails in the last hour. This is partly because I’m having to face all the ‘remind me later’ emails I have been putting off because they are long and heartfelt.

Another big chunk of time was screenshotting, formatting, and arranging the above photos for you.

The reason I marked this moment as a checkpoint was because I almost broke the form.

Without realizing, I started justifying why I should ‘remind myself later’ about the email I was working on. This means I’ll get the email again on a certain date.

This is an important moment. My awareness faded. A part in me slipped in the control seat and tried to steer our behavior without me noticing. Because of the bright line rules of the protocol, I was able to notice the slip in awareness.

Let’s play-by-play this:

  • An hour in to my dharma sprint, I’m losing steam
  • I’m reading an important email and before I know it, I’m justifying reasons why I should save this for later.
  • I notice I’m scheming, so I come back here and start writing what just happened.
  • After less than 10 minutes of writing, I’m back to the task, and process the email in less than a minute.
  • Our minds are so funny; I wanted to ‘remind me later’ because I was tired. Noticing the slip and calling it out somehow energized me and I was able to go on another 30 minutes. (What is that?)

I’ve intelligently designed my email protocol based on observing the way my mind tries to bullshit me. “Remind me later” is a slippery slope caked with my own bullshit.

So, I used the impulse to break form as a call for a check-in.

I did a quick somatic scan. I felt heat in my head. Other then that, I actually feel better then when I started. I imagine it is because I’m doing what I’ve been avoiding.

I feel better. I’m heading back in.

End of 1st Sprint

I’ve processed another 30 emails. Many of them called for deep reading and thoughtful responses.

One email was asking me to pay a bill which required me to leave my office, (and to walk by my phone and ignore the addictive pull to it), find my wallet, bring it back, and enter my cc number only to watch the website not work when processing the payment.

Deep breath.

Took a screenshot and respond to the automated email. I’ll eat the death cookie response when it comes.

I’m going to work out and take a shower. Replenish with something healthy, and come back for another sprint.

I feel the feeling we get when we eat a death cookie. It feels good.

I’ve been putting off these emails for over a week. I didn’t feel well today. But I knew if I did a death cookie dharma sprint that I’d unblock some life force.

I feel great. I’ll be back to finish these emails before I go to bed.

Hot Wash:

It took one more full dharma sprint to complete. I was able to do it today because luck arose and I was home alone all evening, so I took about a two hour break to recharge (between the first sprint and the second). I worked out, showered, cleaned the house for about an hour then ate.

After feeling complete tending to the house, I took roughly 40mg of kl and a single 2 second inhale / 3 second hold of a mc.

Then I set a timer for 99 minutes, sat in my lazy boy chair, turned on a youtube fireplace (lol, what a sentence), and got to dancing.

Final Stats:

Processed 68 emails in three hours (broken up into two 99 minute sprints)

Didn’t break form.

Didn’t check my phone.

I did text two people as extensions of the emailing (from computer messenger)

Had a handful of beautiful moments; got teary-eyed, got goosebumps, etc.

Two New Death Cookies:

🍪 New Death cookie: learn how to use our fireplace

🍪 New Death cookie: The Ad Can Be A Truth Myself: Blueblockers

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