Let’s start this one with a question: how many e-mails do you get per day? Now whatever the answer is if you are one of those people who check their e-mail before the day starts like I do, then you have 10-15 already waiting in your inbox when you wake up. I got up to a point where I started checking my e-mail each day not even because I had important ones in there but, I had to clean my inbox or my spam. These e-mails are usually the promotions sent to me. Like 20% off on this or that, or just simply some subscriptions I said yes to a long time ago.
Now I was intrigued by how many emails will I get when I get back from my holiday so I gave myself that experiment to do. This is what happens. Two weeks later and I came back from a two-week vacation and I had 328 – emails of pure promotion now that means that I got around 20 emails per day. And guess what, I had maybe 5-10 important ones I actually had to read for work. I was in an awe. Those 328 messages were either when I applied for some job back in the day so now they send me job offers that aren’t even close to my career, or promotions for some clothes or travel or how cheaper it would be if I travelled at this exact moment and also the bookings I filled a long time ago but now I receive a bunch of offers from those cities.
As I am writing this I got 10 new ones from my subscriptions. So what I did when I saw all those 328 draining messages was: select all and sent them straight to the bin.
I had no interest in anything they sent. And of course I want to travel and go on vacations and read and re-read all the blogs but let’s be real! 90% of the time it isn’t something you will use or need. As if it was as easy as 1, 2, 3 to pack everything up and go on a vacation. Maybe for my subscriptions, it is and they will try and sell me stories like you are the master of your own happiness and all that. I get it, but no, I can’t pack up and leave whenever I feel like it.
So, If you find yourself deleting more than actually using the information from those subscriptions, then my friend it is time you took a different path from those emails and say ¨it’s not about you, it’s me¨ and walk away.
For me it was very simple actually, I found myself waking up and checking my email but before checking the important ones, I already knew in advance I was going to move it all to trash. I even made labels for all those subscriptions and I just sent my email there! Yeah! I know!
Now all those things are gone and I honestly don’t feel bad at all. I did something that crucially changed the way I start my day. Instead of: ¨OMG, stop flooding my inbox with stupid s***.¨ I went to using my time adequately and giving myself more time to enjoy my pre-work rituals. And yes I am talking about coffee!
The reason why I started deleting it all my subscriptions was because of course I can delete promos and what not’s but I started seeing what I was missing more than what I had. The travels I can’t go to right now, the clothes I just bought but not quite, the techniques my ¨role models¨ were using but weren’t working for me, etc. So I started seeing what I didn’t have and what I was doing wrong. So I just stopped! The reasons for my subscriptions were to learn and grow and find a good way of improving my life, instead, I got: here are all the things I did, but I am one in a million and they won’t work for you.
This frustrated me to a point of no return. I started getting pissed off even before I read any of my emails. Well no more.
So if you feel like I do, this is when it is time to click unsubscribe to all your email overload.
Don’t Be Afraid to Click Unsubscribe
There is no reason why you would take all these emails and lose time in your day just to hit delete or leave in your bin to take the free space. In the same way that you take the time to clean your house or your closet, you can make free space for better things in your inbox. Don’t let this wonderful opportunity go to waste. Take the time to think about all the subscriptions you have made in the past or even recently and think if you are actually investing your time to read those emails or pay attention to them. If you send them to the bin or move them to a specific label like I do and leave them there, then I think it is safe to say that the choices you make in which emails to keep as subscriptions and which to unsubscribe from, will show you what is actually important to you right now and what you value.
If you want you can also write down all the people who inspire you right now and see who doesn’t fit the mold anymore. Also, write down why these people inspire you and why you want to continue to follow their work and advice. It will give you a better perspective and also a productivity and motivation boost. You will actually start looking forward to your new and improved inbox, free from all the unnecessary subscriptions.
Find Out When Is The Time To Part Ways
So this one I pretty much covered until now and in the introduction but let me be more specific to how you can recognize when it is time to click unsubscribe from those unwanted emails. Since in psychology we use multi-choice questions to help you decide and not just ask an open one, here is one multi-choice question for you to help you determine if you need to click a few buttons to become freer.
When you get a new email, is your reaction:
- ¨OMG, yes! I got a new email from…¨
- You feel indifferent – meaning you don’t care for the email
- This subject seems interesting I will check it out
- You don’t feel any positive feelings towards this email
Now all these have their own meanings to each person. But the general taste for #1 is that same excitement as day one. It helps your desire and idea you had when you clicked subscribe the same way now as it did before. So of course, anytime you get an email from that subscription you feel happy and motivated and look forward to going over that email. Sadly this does disappear over time. But if not, this is definitely a subscription you want to keep.
For number two, if you do feel indifferent the sad truth my friend is that you don’t care if you get the email and you certainly don’t care if you get left out. It doesn’t have any impact in your life, or in your daily functioning so why clutter your inbox with unnecessary information. Click unsubscribe and continue as if nothing happened.
Now, this is probably one of the trickiest ones if I am being honest. This can be a double-edged sword for many. As it does seem interesting you will linger and keep it inside your inbox or in that special label like in my inbox but will you actually dedicate your free time to reading it after or will you forget about it? Most people probably do this or something similar. This can still be time-consuming because you could still be letting the email be your boss rather than the other way around.
#4 is, of course, the easiest one to understand and find out that you actually lost interest a long time ago and it is time for you to click unsubscribe. You know what, don’t even lose any more time, go to your inbox in the other tab and hit unsubscribe. I will wait….
You did it? Good! Now let’s continue! Doesn’t that feel way better than to lose time and free space for that subscription? It sure did in my case!
Prevention vs. Intervention
I have to talk to you about this.
As it is better to be safe than sorry, I will talk to you about what you can do before you actually give out your email like it is nothing. And don’t feel bad, we all do it, in some cases, it is just about getting into a page and you have to subscribe to read the content (marketing way of keeping you inside their circle and using your views to help them grow). But don’t give them the satisfaction. Think about if you really need that website to read the information that you solicited or can you find it somewhere else. Because the alternative will be a dozen emails each day and you don’t even know who they are or how they got your email.
We live in a world where emails and telephone numbers shouldn’t be given so easily. I for one have an email I use on my professional side of life, other is for friends and one is for social media only. This helps me prevent things like a thousand emails a day just because Twitter or Facebook decided that I want to know when each of my friends posts something new. Nope!
So be careful to which website you leave your email and with whom you share it with.
Remember one thing for me: just because you once clicked yes or entered your email address to receive mail from a list it doesn’t mean you’re obligated to keep reading it forever. On the contrary. If you don’t love it, if it is taking way too much time from you or if you are just not interested in anything it says in that email, get rid of it now. Declutter your inbox and keep it sharp. I started doing all that exactly when I came back from my holiday. It had no point in me going over every single email I got. And no, I am not bragging about how many emails I got, I am really not that person, but to receive 328 emails when I did nothing, something had to change. And since I can’t change them or their behavior, I needed to see what I could do. It is not like I was ever going to read them, 3 or 300 it really didn’t matter.
Also, reading emails for some people is time draining and they would well be using it somewhere else. It is not like reading emails is restricted to single moms or dads who have to work two jobs just to bring some food to the table. In fact, their time is gold, so to have to even spend some time deleting a bunch of emails or reading them is a waste. Imagine using your half an hour of free time from kids and homework and your own work, food preparation, keeping the house clean, to read an email you forgot you subscribed to…Ridiculous.
So don’t waste any more time, use this article to help you get your inbox sorted out. It will help you in the long run also! I am sure of it!
So here is to no more of the unwanted emails or subscriptions you will never even use in your life!