When I found myself accidentally retired and no longer working, it was really, really strange to not have to be tied to my email.
Running a big business with 50+ employees and even more co-workers, vendors and clients lends itself to a lot of email. We are talking about hundreds a day.
In fact, I think I was addicted to email … And so when I accidentally retired, it felt even stranger to not HAVE to check my email in the morning, right when I got home from the office and then again before bed and many times in between.
So I did what any self respecting former CEO would do. I oversubscribed myself to any/all news sources as possible. The New York Times, Axios, Inside, and various blogs. I was possibly getting 50-60 emails a day. It was insanity!
After a few months of this, I decided it was time to try out a news diet. What is the point of being accidentally retired and then being tied to my phone all day long?
After a week of a news and reading diet, I turned my email subscriptions back on, but ultimately it was not the same.
A month later, I came up with rules to help me sort through the madness and clear up my free time and my mind.
How to declutter your email inbox:
- Pick one trusted source and UNSUBSCRIBE from the rest
- Any sites that tend to write daily or multiple times a day, UNSUBSCRIBE
- KEEP anything that brings you joy or is a hobby
- TURN OFF any/all social emails
- UNSUBSCRIBE to all marketing emails from business. Unless it is your favorite restaurant, you don’t need emails from Walgreens, Target or anything travel related
- As any stragglers emails come in UNSUBSCRIBE
- TURN OFF any/all push notifications on your iPhone or Android device
- My only exceptions to this are for text messages, one trusted news source (sports for me) and anything financial or banking related
- DELETE unused apps
- MOVE social media into a folder and away from your home screen
- ANYTHING that comes in that you don’t want a push for, turn it off as you receive
I have now gone from someone who grabbed his phone and checked email/social first thing when he woke up, to completely ignoring my phone for the first hour of the day.
I focus on reading, journaling, enjoying my kids, etc.
And when I am sitting around on my phone, I am now spending it reading more in-depth sources and articles. Exploring new things. Or simply not picking it up at all.
So be ruthless, significantly cut down on your emails that are doing nothing but wasting time, and get a part of your life back.