I'm serious. Quit while you're ahead. Or rather, quit while you're not as far behind as you will be if you keep reading. Apart from its arguable entertainment value, it will not enrich your life, make you cleverer, funnier or wealthier.
Or even feel sexier. And if it does, then I'd be worried. Weirdo.
We're forever told what the most successful business people do. They work hard but play hard; they're voracious readers; they go mountain climbing in Yosemite or white-water rafting in Canada; they have dinner around the table with their families; and they turn off their email and mobiles hours before they go to sleep.
Unlike most of us, of course.
No, we work hard and, whenever we get a chance to play, we fall ill. We read – but only Twitter. Our version of mountain climbing in Yosemite is a brisk walk tied in with a stopoff at Tesco Express to get a pint of milk. We have our ready meals in front of The Big Bang Theory and treat ourselves with a bottle of “on offer” wine from the supermarket (seriously, who doesn't always go for the on offer stuff?)
We try in vain to get to inbox zero by randomly deleting Vouchercloud, Groupon and airport parking offer emails
As for turning off our email and smartphones hours before we go to bed, forget it. We scroll up and down aimlessly, finding a snippet on Twitter or Facebook that might entertain us for a nanosecond. Gotta love that dog talking about maple ham on YouTube, right? We try in vain to get to inbox zero by randomly deleting Vouchercloud, Groupon and airport parking offer emails, knowing full well that, in the morning, they'll be replaced by a dozen more.
And even if we did get to inbox zero, we'd find an article online that we really must read (probably about successful people turning off their mobiles before getting into bed). Or we'll find a friend's cute family picture on Facebook that we're obligated to “like”. Or, heaven forbid, a picture of their fricking DINNER. I mean, how is that interesting? You made a casserole, congratulations! And yet I write “yum”. God, I'm fickle.
What's my point? My point is that I woke up this morning to 356 unread emails. Not all sent overnight, of course, but sent over the past weeks and months, and yet I still haven't got round to reading them. I've even starred some of them and then marked them as unread because I apparently want to come back to them later, such is their incredible can't-live-without importance.
The fact is, I will never, ever catch up
In reality, were I to click on any of these starred and “marked as unread” emails, it might only be a LinkedIn discussion about “top 10 marketing tips” or something equally bland, and quite possibly written by someone who is far from an expert. So why am I wasting my precious time? The fact is, I will never, ever catch up.
Look, I have to write this blog because that's what I'm paid to do – and Mike, the MD at Creativepool, might even chuckle when he reads it. (Hi, Mike.) And truth be told, in spite of the slightly acerbic tone this week, I do like writing them. But for the love of God, save yourself from time management hell by prioritising your life and don't read this. Read a newspaper or a book. Go for a walk. Do anything but don't waste your time with things that really don't matter.
You still here? Oh. OK, then. Well, thanks...I guess...?
PS: If you leave a comment saying “no problem” or “OK, then”, please don't fool yourself that you're being witty and original. You're not. Nor are you Charlie Brooker. Unless you are actually Charlie Brooker. Which you aren't.
Ashley is a copywriter, blogger and editor