Stop Reviewing Your Spam Messages!

Purposeful Parent Tip:  Eliminate meaningless tasks in your life.

I had a revelation the other day while perusing my Spam folder. As I glanced at the myriad of messages from pseudo-pharmaceutical companies trying to sell me miracle cures to the outright hoaxes, it hit me. Why am I wasting my time looking through these ridiculous emails? What is the purpose? If Google Mail is smart enough to file them away as garbage, who am I to question?

Yes, I know. There could actually be a real email embedded amongst the trash. And yes, I’d not want to overlook that. But I can safely say that in my many years of reviewing my spam folder contents, this has happened maybe twice.

I made a decision in that moment to stop reviewing my spam folder and let Google take care of deleting its contents automatically. The art of delegation at its finest!

I’m sure there are many of you saying to yourselves…”Wow, she really needs to get a life. She’s excited about spam messages?”

Well, yes, you’re probably right about the life thing, but I AM actually excited about this newest inspiration. While this minor revelation may not seem like much, it made me think about other non-essential tasks that are wasting my valuable time. How much of my life is being taken up by things that are not enriching me or my life? Can anyone really say that their life is better because they spend an hour per month reviewing their spam folder in the hopes that there’s some life-altering email there?

I doubt it. As a single mompreneur with two children, I’m always looking for ways to add more time to my day. Not so that I can “do” more, but so that I can enjoy my day more. Who wouldn’t want to be able to eliminate tasks that are stealing their joy?

I began to look at my daily life to see what other activities were sucking up my time. As a small business owner, I am inundated with business emails along with my own personal emails. I get updates from my various social media channels. I get messages about the latest small business tool or service that will make me a millionaire and yes, I get email newsletters for which I’ve subscribed, but don’t have time to read.

There are just too many emails. To simplify my life, I began removing myself from discussions. I unsubscribed from the multitude of newsletters I was forced to sign up for in order to get a special discount. I automatically filed my social media updates into a folder to review at a later point.

These simple actions not only shrunk the size of my email box, they also quieted my iPhone. I no longer hear the continual pinging or buzzing when a new email arrives. Ahh – silence is golden.

Now I only get emails I want. I only read the newsletters I love. I only participate in discussions that are relevant to me or my business. I have eliminated the time-sucks that steal my joy.

Is it possible that I may not see an important email that landed in my spam folder? Will I miss out on an opportunity? Yes it’s likely. But I’m willing to take that risk. My joy and sanity are worth more than the latest Living Social deal.

I’m on a roll now. I’ve started to look at other areas of my life that are stealing my time. For example, I now stand over my recycling bin and go through my mail. It doesn’t even make it into my work area. I immediately toss the junk or irrelevant mail into the bin and keep only those pieces that need my attention.

Have I added back hours to my day? Not likely. But what I have done is made a statement to myself and the world. I will not waste time on tasks or activities that don’t add value to my life or my children’s or my customer’s lives.

What are your time-stealers? What activities can you eliminate or delegate? Taking an inventory of how you spend your time will no doubt uncover many wasted hours. Then you can reclaim your time and spend it wisely on activities you enjoy.

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Jennifer Covello, Copyright 2011-2024