It's me, not you
In the last few weeks, I've been trying hard to get a handle on where my day (and attention) goes. I realized I get more than 300-500 emails a day and that's just TOO MANY. I have "shiny object syndrome" and find my attention pulled away by the latest sale, news, or whatchamacallit.
I simply cannot read all the emails and get any work done and it's become a serious problem. I'm losing emails I do want to respond to (sorry!) and not getting critical work done. Something had to be done.
Google apps mail allows me to pause my email, but then I come back to hundreds of emails so I've come up with a one-two punch process that is working well.
- ONE: Delete emails en masse (Google apps mail makes this easy)
- TWO Get off many of the lists that send me emails
So now I'm spending fifteen minutes, three times a day, deleting and unsubscribing. Responding to emails adds time, of course.
Here's how I do read my email.
- Google apps for Business lets me select 100 emails at a time to scroll through.
- I scroll through them and deselect ones I either want to read or unsubscribe from.
- I delete all the ones that are still selected.
- I look at the ones I want to unsubscribe from and find the word UNSUBSCRIBE at the bottom of the email and unsubscribe. (I'll discuss this in a moment. It's not that easy.)
- I read the ones I want to read and respond.
How easy is it to unsubscribe? Not so much.
Some lists make it easy. They make word Unsubscribe in bold so you can find it. Others make the word Unsubscribe so light you can barely find it. Still others never use the word Unsubscribe. They use a bunch of alternate words (like manage your subscription) and then use the words "click here" so it takes you a few minutes to figure out what to click on, perhaps so you'll give up.
Now is when the real fun begins. After you click on whatever word you need to click on, you are taken to another page. If you are super lucky, you are done and you get a confirmation that you have been unsubscribed. But does that happen often? NO IT DOES NOT. In too many cases, you now have a quiz that you have to take before you are unsubscribed.
Because I've spent the past two weeks doing this, I'm somewhat crazed at the lengths it takes to unsubscribe lists. So in my next post, I'll provide examples.
- Patti Shank