Recently, I’ve just been growing frustrated with the amount of email I get, and the amount I end up just ignoring. The amount of ‘newsletter’ emails I get from a services I signed up for here, or a deal I signed up for there, was getting to be too damn much.
Google email is great about handling spam email, which is nice, because I get a shit ton of spam, mostly from the number of mmba.org email address I get mail from. The spam is handled quite nicely, and I never see 99% of it, as it is filtered directly into the spam folder. But, the number of sale flyers, update notices for software I own, new version announcements, updates from organizations I’ve supported, or other random email list crap I’ve been getting has been building. I’ve found more and more of my emails are doing directly into the trash. Do not read, do not scan, just toss. Buy.com daily, Weather Underground updates 3-4 times a day (come on, the weather doesn’t need to be updated THAT often) Updates on upcoming concerts (OK, I haven’t unsubscribed to that one), upcoming movies, etc etc. I finally got the point that the amount of email I’ve deleted unread is growing, it’s like having to deal with spam again, but it’s spam I’ve agreed to get.
So, I’ve started to unsubscribe to more and more of them. I need to reduce the amount of drift wood that arrives into my inbox, so I can better respond to real emails. I feel like 80% of the time I see a new email pop into my inbox, it’s something that I end up tossing away more then dealing with, and that’s another distraction that keeps me from focusing on what I was doing before that new email arrived. Yes, I know that responding to each and every email that arrives as soon as it arrives is another problem altogether, but I figure that reducing the amount of distractions is a good first step, then I can focus on not being distracted in the first place.
Also, as I see these emails come in, I’m also doing a search on those emails and finding the previous ones I’ve never deleted. As ‘on top’ of deleting Weather Underground emails as I am, I found well over 100 old ones the other day. Seriously? Over 100 outdated weather updates? How many of those did I even open? I need to recheck my Weather Underground settings, to see if there is a way to control the frequency of the email updates. 1 or 2 a day is fine, anything more is information overload.
Hopefully, a few weeks of reconsidering what emails I want to automatically help reduce the amount of noise appearing in my inbox. And possibly help my response time on emails I do have to react too.