I'm not suffering from it myself at present, but over at that prince of productivity blogs, 43 Folders, Merlin Mann has a nice piece on "E-mail Bankruptcy. The idea is that if you ever get completely overloaded with unread / unresponded-to e-mail, you just "declare bankruptcy", delete all your unread e-mail, and let the world know that if it's important they should resend it.
The best part of the article for me, though, was this description of e-mail overload:
Email is such a funny thing. People hand you these single little messages that are no heavier than a river pebble. But it doesn't take long until you have acquired a pile of pebbles that's taller than you and heavier than you could ever hope to move, even if you wanted to do it over a few dozen trips. But for the person who took the time to hand you their pebble, it seems outrageous that you can't handle that one tiny thing. "What 'pile'? It's just a fucking pebble!"
The next time I get bothered that someone hasn't replied to my e-mail, I'm going to try to remember that they may have a lot of other pebbles in their pile.