Try An e-mail Detox

We are approaching the fourth major marketing blitz in two months. It’s never ending.

First, it’s “Thanksgiving”, then in short order after the Thanksgiving marketing blitz, the “Black Friday” blitz starts. Just as Black Friday comes to an end followed by all the shop local campaigns, “The Holidays” aka Christmas starts. Once Christmas is upon us, it will be January sales; then the keep fit/weight loss industry turn on “20 great reasons to go to the gym” or “10 great products that help you avoid the gym”, it goes on and on.

This morning I got my first detox email of the season. Apparently, a lot of people do a social media detox at this time of year. The Guardian asks “Does it really make them happier?” It’s a good article and covers lots of issues related to just the attention-demand of social media. Add to that the coming fitness, weight loss blitz and “dry January”, “juice cleanses, purges”, inbox zero and detox is it.

I’d like to recommend a detox too. Through the rest of the year and into the start of February join me in an e-mail detox. It doesn’t cost you anything, will give you back valuable time, it will allow you to spend more time with family and loved ones.

An email detox generally means taking a break from checking and responding to email, in order to reduce stress and improve overall productivity. This can involve setting aside specific times of the day to check and respond to email, or even taking a longer break from email altogether. The idea behind an email detox is to give yourself time to focus on other tasks and activities, and to reduce the constant interruptions and distractions that can come from constantly checking and responding to email.

In this case though, it’s about returning value and productivity to your imbox.

What does it involve?

Simple. Every email you get from a business, skip over the content, go straight to the bottom and click on the UNSUBSCRIBE button. My only exceptions are paid subscriptions, because that would be dumb, paying for stuff and not using it. Kind of like a gym membership in March, or a 14-day free streaming trial service to watch one film, that 3-months later you have not cancelled.

What Businesses ?

All of them, medical providers, concert promoters, coupon and discount offers; especially CNET and Amazon Prime; Pretty much everything for me except our daughter’s school and school board; the local council. All those businesses will be fine. They’ll still be there if you need them, the products and services they sell will still be available, and the specials will come back in some form, sometime next year.

Will I Miss Something Important?

Possibly, but instead maybe you’ll be able to see an important email that would have previously been obscured by endless marketing emails? Many of which you read anyway just to make sure you were not missing out on something. I get it, FOMO is real.

I deleted my Facebook account in 2017, it’s slightly frustrating when something is going on and the only way to get up to date is a Facebook group, life goes on. I won’t go back as mostly my life goes on without it.

Is It Safe?

Certainly 10+ years ago I was advising my parents to avoid clicking on UNSUBSCRIBE links, as all it did was notified companies that your email was monitored and there was every chance they’ ignore the request anyway.

These days most companies use a service like Mailchimp to manage their e-blasts and there are too many risks for abusing the UNSUBSCRIBE process on bloated commercial email lists. So, if it’s arrived in your actual inbox, go ahead and UNSUBSCRIBE. If it arrived in your spam folder, might as well just ignore it.

I didn’t do this last year, but have done it a few times before. I can’t ever recall there ever being a real problem. Maybe I missed out on a bargain here and there, but if it was something I actually need, I know where to look.

Of course, if you are an email subscriber to this blog, I’m not a business, so I’m sure you won’t want to unsubscribe. my random, meandering, streams of consciousness surely deliver real value for the price you pay?

Have a great holidays, Christmas, or whatever you celebrate.


p.s. If this works for you try unfollowing companies on social media as well.

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