– It’s just like cleaning out a sock drawer.

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I cleaned out my e-mail address book recently. I equate this task to cleaning out a sock drawer, it’s something we don’t like to do and, as such, do it infrequently (such as every 25 years or so). What complicates this is that I have a rather extensive address book which, if printed, would look like the White Pages for the Greater Chicago area.

My cleanup started by chance as I happened to make a couple of corrections, but then found myself embroiled in a major purging effort. I found myself deleting hundreds of names, perhaps thousands, some people I remember, some who had passed away, and some I didn’t have a clue as to who they were anymore or why I recorded them. I’m usually pretty good about adding a comment to each person as to how I know them and if there was ever a hiccup in receiving my e-mails. Normally, if the e-mail hiccups three times, they’re out of there. I also have the addresses segregated by various interests, such as by the many clubs I belong to. So, it is very well organized, but has never been weeded out.

Of the names I deleted:

* I deleted business contacts, featuring customers and vendors, who we no longer do business with anymore, nor is there any potential for additional business in the future.

* I deleted readers I haven’t heard from in years. I also recognize most of my readers today get my postings and audio segments through automated messages they subscribe to, so why am I knocking myself out maintaining extensive lists?

* I deleted media contacts I developed over the years, including newspapers, magazines, radio and television. You have to remember this is a volatile industry and turnover is frequent, which is why this isn’t surprising.

* I deleted several members of the various organizations I belong to, including professional, political and fraternal. I had hung on to names much longer than I needed to. Cleaning this out was particularly therapeutic as I didn’t want to cling to the past anymore.

In the process, I discovered several people who had passed away. I had kept their names in case it was necessary to contact a spouse or offspring, but it had been years since I had any contact with the families. Frankly, I was surprised how many I encountered. I guess time marches on.

I found this to be somewhat of a cleansing experience. I felt like I was exorcising demons from my past, ridding myself of deadbeats and lunatics I’ve run across in my walk through life.

When it was over, it was just as rewarding an experience as cleaning out my sock drawer. I felt I had cleaned out the trash, got my house in order, and was now ready for a new day. However, whenever I clean out my sock drawer, a single sock naturally emerges which doesn’t match anything and I wonder how it got there. I suppose cleaning out my e-mail address book is somewhat the same in that no matter how much I clean it out, a name will inevitably surface who I have virtually no clue as to who the person is or how I know him or her. Like the sock, I’ll be hesitant to delete a name in fear I might need it someday, and the address book will start to grow once again.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at [email protected]

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Copyright © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim’s columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

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Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

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