Written by Jeannett Gibson of Life Rearranged.
Are you working through Tsh’s ebook One Bite at a Time yet? I’m tracking my progress through the very practical (and manageable!) tasks monthly through this series. The projects aren’t chronological and you can do them in any order, so feel free to start now! You can buy the book here for just $5!
For lots of people, e-mail is a beast with a never-ending bottom. Like the bottomless fries at some restaurants, only not nearly as salty delicious.
I would imagine that Tsh’s inbox, with a variety of blogs to manage and books to write, would probably make most of us pass out on first glance. But for the rest of us, with a more average number of unread emails, this project may not seem all that important to tackle. Or is it?
As a blogger, I probably average about fifty emails per day. Of those, twenty are all manner of advertisements, sale announcements, and newsletters that I somehow subscribed to for whatever reason and never actually read.
While it doesn’t seem to take all that long to simply delete those Labor Day Sale emails from your local department store, the truth is that those few seconds add up – especially around the holidays when everyone and their mother is having a sale, a clearance blow out, or a contest of some sort.
And now, during campaign season, local politicians have conjured up my email address and love to send me random messages with giant photos of themselves. No, thank you.
I loved Tsh’s suggestion to unsubscribe at will. It actually became a game of sorts…how many subscriptions could I opt out of in a day? It only took a few seconds to scroll to the bottom of the email and go through the one or two steps needed to unsubscribe.
Now, I not only get fewer emails daily, but I spend less time sorting through what is actually important, and what is little more than digital junk mail. For those of you bemoaning that you might miss out on sales and great pricing, keep in mind that sometimes buying something 60% off means paying 40% for something you probably didn’t need in the first place.
Besides, a quick Google search can typically yield coupon codes when you actually need it. You don’t need to be bombarded with dozens of emails throughout the year just for the one or two times you actually shop at said establishment.
If you are a larger blogger and/or business owner (handmade biz owners, that includes you!), you might be pining for the days when you only had 50 emails in your box daily. My one piece of advice: hire a virtual assistant.
Your time is far too valuable to be answering “Do you take custom orders?” questions for the 187th time this week. I actually wrote an ebook about hiring bloggy help. Do it. You can thank me later.
But even after unsubscribing with glee, my biggest problem with emails came when I got my first smart phone. What was supposed to make my life easier by having everything at my fingertips, actually turned out to be my biggest faux pas.
Let me explain: I’m standing in line at Target (again). For reasons unbeknownst to me, I decide that’s a great time to check my inbox. I read an email and quickly realize that it warrants a response longer than the 2 sentences I’m willing to type out on my phone screen. I hit the lock screen button, slip my phone back into my purse, and make a mental note to get back to that email when I’m at a desktop later that day.
And then more emails come in.
And the email I intended to respond to gets buried. And I forget all about it…until, of course, 3 a.m. when I’m feeding the baby…but that’s no time to be responding to emails, so I make a mental note to respond in the morning. You know, when the sun is out. And then…you know where this is going, right? I forget, and so continues the vicious cycle.
Photo by Dell
For me, the biggest take away on this project was simply to check email when I would actually be able to take action if need be. Was anything really that important that I had to read it while I waited to pay for my paper towels and melamine bowl set? No. Because if it was…my smartphone would have rung. Out loud. With a live person on the other end of it. Weird.
Instead, I just surf my instagram feed in the checkout line. Now that’s some important stuff.
Do you struggle with email? Do you do the same thing with your smartphone? Are you planning on unsubscribing with abandon?