Getting Organized: 5-Minute Solution for Unwanted Email

It happens to the best of us, we subscribe to email newsletters for various reasons because we just know it’s going to do one of the following:

  • alert us to important info we find relevant
  • save us money shopping online
  • teach us a new tip or trick

Sometimes this is the case, but in my experience it turns out to be rare. What I’ve realized is that newsletters usually clutter my inbox and keep me from seeing important info more quickly. Big box store newsletters just aren’t as relevant to me unlike the ones I receive from fellow clients, charities, and businesses in the area. These emails contain info about my community!

I happen to use Gmail and while it comes with different “tabs” to automatically sort emails for you, more often than not I’m finding a string of unread and forgotten emails that are taking up visual space. And sometimes these emails get past the “promotions” tab and land in the primary inbox.

Do I really want to spend time creating email filters to automatically redirect these emails elsewhere, only to put off time spent reviewing and deleting these emails later? No, I really don’t!

Here’s how I handle chipping away at this little annoyance. Cue drum roll . . .

Your Favorite Assistant’s Tried and True 5-Minute Solution to Unsubscribing from Newsletters:

  1. Take note of the time and dedicate 5 minutes of your day to this task - every day, or once a week.
  2. Scan your email inbox for a marketing newsletter. Note the name of the sender
  3. Search for the sender’s name
  4. Did you get a lot of results? Are most of them unread? If you answered yes, these are signs you won’t be doing much with these emails
  5. Scroll to the bottom of the email to click on the unsubscribe link; follow the steps as prompted
  6. Go back to your search results, select all, click Delete.

Repeat these steps for your allotted 5 minutes. It may not seem like a lot of time but you will be able to unsubscribe from several newsletters, without spending all day on it. Set an alarm if necessary to make sure you stop if you’re worried about getting distracted (guilty as charged). In the end, you will find much less email cluttering your inbox.

In a future post in my Getting Organized Blog Series, I will talk about how to use project management systems to turn your emails into actionable items.

Do you really want coupon codes? Read my post about the Honey Browser Extension.

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