I realized last week that there are several emails that I just delete as soon as I see who the sender is. So the obvious next question was “why don’t I just unsubscribe?” Personall, I just don’t like to unsubscribe if I have purchased a product from that person. So I didn’t hit delete when I received the next email, I researched, and in many cases, I had never made the purchase.
I unsubscribed. I then deleted any emails I may have saved of theirs, because if I stopped opening the emails and removed myself from the list, I didn’t need to read or re-read anything I had saved. I use gmail and create lots of folders, so once the folders were empty, I deleted those too.
It was liberating. Like taking the bra off at the end of the day liberating.
It encouraged me to keep looking and find more to get rid of. By the time I was done I had deleted 15 folders (some of these I had unsubscribed previously, but never deleted the emails or folders).
Now it is easier to find items in my inbox and I don’t have as much coming in. And if I’m honest I’m sure I could cut back even further.
One of the reasons I was able to make these drastic actions is that I have been more clear on my business model. I love to learn, but it can be distracting when trying to build a business. Some days I feel like a dog – Squirrel. My attention flits from one topic to the next. I have literally stood in my dining room and turned around 4 times trying to decide what I wanted to do first/next. This has included too many interests in business as well. But focus and commitment have allowed me to be more organized and really to allow me to grow my business and my life.
The hardest part of organizing is the idea of letting go. We have all had that experience that as soon as you throw something away you end up needing it, so we hang on to more than we need. If your inbox is full or emails that don’t bring you joy, can you unsubscibe from the sender? Can you have an assistant handle them?
Email is a part of our lives, and as solopreneurs, we have to juggle our work and non-work emails, often at the same time, we need to have a system, but before we can even develop a system we have to be clear on what emails are priorities, what emails bring us joy, and what emails can we don’t really want.
I know that cleaning up your email inbox may not seem like a priority, if you have too much email, like I did, it really will free up your time. Just don’t get lost down a rabbit trail – be decisive.
I would love to hear how you did in the comments below.