Keeping email inbox clean: block the noise

Email is an important tool. It is hard to imagine our daily life without it. However, email too often becomes the source of distraction. Our brain likes to get things done. So it is so tempting to trick it that we are doing some actual work when we check the email. However, very often we are dealing with emails that we should simply ignore.

To be more productive, we must, among other things, to know where to pay attention and what to ignore. Many things consume our attention and mental energy without providing anything useful in return. One kind of such useless things are informational/marketing emails. You probably saw such emails:

  • “Summer sale, 20% off”
  • Warehouse Overstock Sale – Going On Now
  • Get Over 60+ HDTV Channels Without Paying A Dime
  • Need some travel inspiration?
  • Earn 80K Bonus Points and bring your travel dreams to life

I am not saying that email marking is pure garbage. I am saying that signal to noise ratio is very low. I found that it is very rare that marketing email arrives at the right time, with the right product that I am willing to buy (because I actually need it vs just impulse buying), at the right price from the right seller.

My solution: I maintain my email Inbox and aggressively cut the noise. One of the things that I do is I unsubscribe from mass-emails. This way I am saving my limited cognitive energy on the things that really matter.

Where to find “Unsubscribe” link?

Most of the emails contain information about how to unsubscribe from the mass email notifications. Search for “unsubscribe”, “stop”, “opt out”, etc

Here are few examples:

What are the techniques that you use?

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