Today I decided to have an all-day office day. One of the tasks was to clean up my email inbox.
I have a dedicated email address for getting coupons and advertisements, advice for artists, marketing strategies for small business owners, announcements for exhibition openings and other informative/educational content.
Having this email account separate from my daily correspondence regarding my own art business has advantages. While I check my business email a couple of times a day, my “info” email account allows me to miss a day or two without missing urgent and important content. But emails in this inbox do accumulate quickly.
So today I cleaned up. I deleted a bunch of older emails. In addition, I analyzed which emails I actually read and which ones I no longer opened.
I had a closer look at those which I keep disregarding.
– Why did I subscribe to this email newsletter/advertising in the first place (if I still remembered)?
- The author/company promised a download for which I had to submit my email address.
- The website/newsletter was recommended to me.
- It looked like valuable information.
- I did research on a specific topic and the emails provided relevant content.
– Why do I no longer read those emails?
- I received the downloaded information and that’s all I wanted.
- I get emails several times a week and simply feel overwhelmed.
- I’m no longer interested in the content, the information is no longer relevant for me.
- I don’t like the way the author/company communicates (overly confident, too sassy, too many sales pitches, just not aligned with the way I want to do business).
– What to do next?
- First, I unsubscribed of all those emails I really didn’t want anymore. They fill up my inbox unnecessarily and they become a waste of my time as I need to delete each individual email. So they had to go.
- Second, I kept the emails I read sometimes with a one month “grace period”. As my inbox will not be quite so flooded anymore I will pay more attention to those emails and analyze them again later. Eventually, they need to get sorted into “keep” or “unsubscribe”.
- Third, the emails I read regularly will stay. I created a folder for content I want to save and refer to later. This way, the content of the email does not get lost but I can delete the actual email from my inbox.
Now my inbox looks much more manageable. I invested a couple of hours in this task but I’m sure in the long run weeding out unwanted emails will save me time – time I can spend in my favorite place to work: the studio!