Copywriter, technical writer, translator (FR>EN, ES>EN, IT>EN), journalist

Introducing… the Delete key

I was once guilty: years ago, my Outlook inbox would sometimes overflow with stuff that wasn’t necessary. Unsolicited messages from PR companies (we journalists get plenty of those), unsolicited electronic commercial messages (distinct from outright spam) and other stuff could clog my inbox and, consequently, fuel the feeling that I was falling behind on my priorities.

What changed? I became honest with myself. I admitted that:

  • I wouldn’t get around to handling many of these things
  • ignoring them wouldn’t hurt anything

So I started:

  • deleting these messages
  • using unsubscribe links
  • marking as spam any messages that unsubscribing should have stopped

A word on this last point: if you use a service like Google to handle mail, it’s my understanding that marking messages as spam causes problems for the sender. You can also mark things as spam in your own email client (Outlook, Mac Mail, Thunderbird, Lotus Notes, etc.)

Don’t feel bad that you can’t get around to reading all these messages. They’re often no more important than the physical junk mail you probably toss in recycling bins.

Make generous use of the Delete key on your keyboard. Give up on trying to read everything (OK, do quick scans if you must) so that you can make time to do the things that matter.

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