Photo Credit: Samuel Huron via Compfight cc

Perhaps it’s just me, (although I hardly think that could be possible), but I tend to get interested in great new training available through online videos, PDFs and emails. I want to learn everything, and I never met a new system that I didn’t want to take for a test run.

Which partially explains why my inbox started out this morning with over 2500 occupants. Now, to be fair, that is from all 3 of my email accounts, and a few are duplicates; but 2500 emails? Really?

Desperate times call for desperate measures, and I was feeling pretty desperate. So, I began purging, and while I’m purging, I’m unsubscribing.

To be honest, I feel a little bad about all of this unsubscribing. The guy who I know can improve my memory really wants to help me out, and if anyone’s memory could use some help, it’s mine! And the man with the landing pages? And the sales funnel? And the freelance writing groups, and the blogging groups, and the goal training online, and all of the tack catalogs? I know all of these people, groups and companies (or at least most of them), have something that I might find useful; something that might even help me make significant improvements in my life; BUT (and it’s a big “but”), if I don’t have time to even open these emails and they just clutter my inbox or get deleted without being opened, how much use am I getting out of them? It was time to try to take back this little slice of my life known as my inbox, and I did it by simply remembering one thing.

I can always re-subscribe. If there’s something that I think I will truly want to revisit, I simply put the info into a Pages document on my computer and I can go back and re-visit or re-subscribe at any time.

Yes, that’s right, perhaps these goodbyes are not permanent (although in many cases, they’re likely to be). Perhaps I will decide one day that I want to watch that series of videos to improve my memory, or I will be interested in signing up for a course with a lead pages or sales funnel guru. But that day is not today. Today I want to be able to see the important emails that come into my inbox, read them, deal with them and delete them.

Now, I’m not saying this is the only way to tackle a thorny inbox problem. There’s a great system called Inbox Zero, developed by productivity expert Merlin Mann; and most email programs like Gmail and Apple Mail have pretty good ways of managing emails by tagging, using folders, etc.; but I simply wanted to have fewer of those little time-suckers drop into my inbox in the first place.

So I cut some ties, said goodbye to some new acquaintances and to some old-familiars who no longer served their purpose. I consider it a gift I’m giving myself for Christmas and the New Year – just a little oasis of calm for those times when I open my inbox and I’m not bombarded with a count over 2000, or even over 20.

If you have a crowded inbox, do yourself and your business a favor. Set aside some chunks of time and purge that inbox, but make sure that as you purge, you unsubscribe. Keep a list of those sites you may want to check back into in the future, but give yourself the gift of having your email work for you, instead of the other way around.