With the overabundance of information and “knowledge” being shared across the internet these days, it’s easy to become distracted. I don’t know about you, but I certainly don’t need any more distractions in my life than absolutely necessary.
These days pretty much every account or purchase or service or whatever requires you to provide a valid email address. And after being a consumer or customer or patient or whatever enough times, your inbox can become inundated with email on a daily basis, which may include some important information, but more times than not they contain special offers or promotions or social media notifications or whatever.
At some point during 2014, I began to receive hundreds of “legitimate” email messages (not email that is typically captured as Spam) in my Yahoo account per day. And if I was too busy to check email that day or for days in a row–you’ve guessed it–there was way too much email to even navigate through. It became a source of stress.
Aside from not needing unnecessary distractions, I also like to be able to find something when I’m looking for it. That’s why after several episodes of “Did you read the email I sent you?” to which I replied “What email?”, I realized I needed to address my email issue.
The first thing I did was to change my social media notification settings. I was already getting the important notifications on my iPhone, so I didn’t need duplicates cluttering up my inbox too. I went into the Account menu and updated my notification settings to eliminate the email notifications. Plus there were the “What’s Trending” and “You may also be interested in” type of social media emails. At the bottom of those emails is an option to “Stop receiving these type of notifications” link, so I took advantage of those too.
This helped to cut down the daily flow that flooded my inbox, but it was like using a wad of chewing gum to fix a leaking pipe. I needed a something stronger to allow the important email to surface.
Next I targeted the sources that frequently sent me offers and promotions that I’m not remotely interested in. At the bottom of most of these emails is a link to Unsubscribe. It took me an hour or so, but I went through and unsubscribed from all of the non-essential promotional emails, as well as emails from business partners, etc. that I’d never supplied with an email address in the first place. Now some of these senders, once you unsubscribe, inform you that it may take up to 7-10 business days for your email address to be removed from their database. For the life of me, I can’t understand why this would be the case, other than they have multiple databases that they had copied my email address to and their process to remove it is not fully automated.
The unsubscribe phase was a success. I noticed a huge drop off in the number of emails per day. Occasionally, I still receive email from sources that I’ve unsubscribed from (multiple times, even,) so at this point, I’m just marking those as spam.
It’s true that it takes time to save time, but in the end the result is usually worth the effort. Certainly in my case it was.
Are you overwhelmed by email? Here are some potential solutions:
- Modify your social media account settings to eliminate email notifications
- Unsubscribe from unwanted or unnecessary email promotions and newsletters
- Use a different email account when you are required to provide an email address for a purchase or service
- Use a Gmail account for email, since it has the ability to separate incoming email into separate tabs, including Primary, Social, Promotions, Updates, and Forums.
- Cancel your internet service and cell phone plans, destroy your computers and mobile devices, and live peacefully in a state of ignorant bliss.