The BEST Thing You Can Do For Your Email Inbox

It’s amazing how much email I get nowadays. While I never want to be that person who’s constantly attached to their inbox, it’s almost like you have to check your email regularly, or it’ll pile up and become overwhelming and unbearable.

But do you ever think about how much of the email that comes into your inbox is just plain garbage?

Seriously. Look at your inbox right now. How many of those emails are you going to open, and how many will you trash without even clicking on them? Of those you do open, how many will you actually read, as opposed to just skimming and then tossing them? And how many will you reply to?

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Are You Obsessed With Your Email?

Let me ask you a question. How often do you check your email?

If you’re like most people, you’ll probably say “every day.” Honestly, I can’t imagine going a day *without* checking my email. But upon further reflection, I… honestly think I check my email *TOO* much. I’ve been trying to take stock of my little habits, and lately, that’s the one I’ve noticed.

Wake up, get ready for work, check my email. Then maybe an hour later, check my email again. It can literally be ten minutes later and there I am, logging into Google again. And again. And again.

Does anyone else do that?

Okay, I don’t think I’m really obsessed. I think it’s just become a habit in this tech-crazy world, where we all feel inclined, or maybe even required, to be connected at all times. The phones in our pockets/purses ensure that we’re always dialed in, and make it a hell of a lot easier to keep checking – even if we’re not necessarily expecting any specific correspondence to fly our way.

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Daily Challenge: Unclutter Your Mailbox(es)

How often do your check your email? How about your mailbox at home?

For the majority of people, it seems like we check our email at least once a day, if not more. Some of us are constantly connected to our inboxes, with our cell phones in the palm of our hand nearly 24/7. As soon as a message pops up, boom, it’s opened, read, or deleted.

And let’s face it, most people open their mailbox at home on a daily basis.

What common denominator do these things have? Both are oftentimes filled with junk.

A couple weeks ago, I realized that I don’t even read half of the emails I receive. I’m not interested in them. They’re newsletters or advertisements from companies that I guess I signed up with at one point or another; but is it worth keeping around if I’m deleting literally every piece of mail from them? Nah.

So I undertook a project to unclutter my inbox. Rather than just quickly brushing through and deleting those “I don’t care about this” emails, I opened some of them. I scrolled through and found ways to unsubscribe from a lot of them, and boy, it makes a difference. Now, instead of getting some 50+ emails daily that I never open and send straight to the trash, I get far fewer, and it feels better.

It’s also interesting how difficult some places make it for you to unsubscribe from their lists. Some are easy – just a simple click of the link at the bottom of the email, and you’re done. (Sure, it can still take a few days for you to fully come off the list, but it’s an easy, one-step process.) Some are more difficult; you have to click the link and then complete a survey about WHY you’re unsubscribing before they’ll let you off.

And one I’ve encountered is even stickier; it’s an online survey site that makes you login to your account, delete your account and then unsubscribe from there. Considering I can’t remember my username or password, that’s…. too much work.

The same goes for your physical mailbox, too. At one point, I was coming home DAILY to credit card offers from Chase. Literally, every day, I’d find another – often the exact same mailing.

Initially, I just recycled them; I knew they weren’t something I was interested in, and didn’t care to waste my time even opening them.

One day, though, I got absolutely fed up. It was a waste of my time to get them; a waste of the mailman’s time to bring them, and an absolute waste of paper (my biggest concern, to be honest, even though I was recycling them.) I opened it to find a handy-dandy little phone number to call in order to remove your name from receiving unsolicited credit card offers. Huzzah! It’s a number from the federal government, I called, and it got me off scot-free for a few years.

I haven’t gotten any junk mail like that in weeks now, and boy, does it feel good.