Clearing out your email inbox. It seems like such a trivial subject but after finally clearing out my inbox, for good, recently I found that my ever-increasing amount of unread emails ally had such a significant impact on my general mental stress-level. I procrastinated clearing it out for months and months as it became more and more overwhelming each day and honestly experiencing just how much of a difference it makes I wish I would have done it so much sooner.
I don’t know if you can relate but I am the kind of person who never thinks twice about giving up my email online to access some kind of whatever information that seemed important at that point of time. I mean most of the emails I received I had no idea as of how they even received my email address. Actually an overly filled inbox was the reason why I changed my email address a little over 6 months back as it just became all too overwhelming, which is definitely also an option, however if you don’t want to change your email address, here is my surprisingly simple approach on how to solve the issue of a continuously increasing amount of unread emails once and for all. For me that was deleting 854 emails (I know) and making sure that it will be easy for me to keep up from now on.
Secret of adulthood:
“Keeping up is easier than catching up” – Gretchen Rubin
I do receive quite a few work-related emails myself and understand that simply changing your email address may not be that simple and may very well be more of time-consuming and overwhelming than clearing out your inbox and so here is what I did to clear out my inbox and make sure that it will stay that way:
- I opened my email inbox, a little overwhelmed and tempted to just exit and procrastinate but resisted
- Instead of just deleting all the emails I went through the first page and opened the email every time I encountered one from a different email address (I was receiving emails from Strava, Meetup.com, Facebook, NIKE, Ebay, Amazon, Youtube, LUSH Cosmetics, H&M, Urban outfitters, paypal, to name a few)
- In most advertorial emails they have an unsubscribe button in the bottom of the email, making it surprisingly simple to make sure that these emails will be the last that you have to delete
- Once I had gone through the first page of (rather repetitive) emails and unsubscribed I pushed the move all to trash button and deleted every email I had read and unread.
- Lastly I have now committed to checking my emails once a day to stay on top as I remind myself that keeping up is easier than catching up and every time I receive an email that I don’t care to read rather than just opening it or deleting it I make sure to unsubscribe instantly
How to minimize stress in less than 15 minutes, seriously it probably took me 10-15 minutes and it was the most valuable time I spent all week, also I can happily check my inbox quickly, once a day, without having a panic attack.
No matter if you have 10 or 854 unread emails in your inbox I invite you to sort through the emails you are subscribed to and fall in love with the feeling of freedom and peace that comes with simplifying life.