A fellow I know had to hire a personal assistant to unsubscribe, re-organize and answer the 2,400 emails per day he was getting. She had to review one every 15 seconds for her full, eight-hour shift. Even now, I spend too much time going through the hundred or so emails I receive each day. Start with the emails from companies with whom you no longer do business. At the bottom of almost each email is an unsubscribe button. It may take a couple of minutes, but if you eliminate their daily emails, the pay back in time spent will be covered in less than a week.
Another technique is to have a dump email address that you can use when you buy a new product that requires giving one. On Gmail, and other providers, you can sign up for as many email addresses as you want. My dump email is BobbyBekinsdumptruck@gmail. I never look at it. There are thousands of unopened emails sitting in it and hundreds of hours of my time that I recover by ignoring it. Once a year I clear it out.
If you right click on the “1-100 of 13,100” box in the upper right corner of the Gmail screen, you can select “oldest” and go back to scour off really old emails. Other providers likely have similar features. I just cleared off a thousand emails from 2016. You can search for a particularly virulent emailer by putting the sender’s name in the searchbox. I like my NextDoor web connection, but I have to clear those out often.
Other exciting things to do: box Salvation Army/Goodwill all the clothes you thought you would wear when you lost 20 pounds. There are people that need them. Clear the freezer of food that is over 2 months old ’cause you’re never going to eat it. Straighten things that bother you every time you look at them. Give away books you won’t read twice to people who could profit from them. Watching TV is like eating a two-pound bag of those orange peanut-shaped marshmallows. You can’t stop; then you just get sick of it. Better not to turn the thing on.
Thanks to article contributors: Rich Beaumann, Amy Pischel, Larry Lewis, and Mark Embree.