While I have said I’m not formally doing the Elf for Health, I am very much mindful of the great ideas on the list. Today’s item is ‘unsubscribe’ – and to me that means to reduce the amount of ‘digital noise’ that clogs up our days. The way I look at it, we only have so many hours in a day, and the less of that time spent sorting through junk email and unwanted websites and so on, the more time we have for productive things that matter to us!
So with that in mind I wanted to look at there ways to reduce your digital clutter.
1. Unsubscribe from email lists
Perhaps you were buying a gift for someone at a store that you never returned to, or one that is no longer open in your area or no longer carries things that interest you. Maybe you just have no idea why you are getting that email advertisement. Whatever the reason, you are getting emails you don’t want anymore. Most legitimate stores and email lists feature an ‘unsubscribe’ or ‘remove me’ link at the bottom of their emails – and are supposed to respect your wishes to remove you from their lists. Click the link, and make sure you head to the correct site, and you might need to enter your email address again. But that is the most you should ever enter to get off a list.
I did this a year ago, and it took several weeks for some sites to disappear since they are sent in ‘campaigns’ meaning the emails are scheduled well in advance. I continue to do it monthly, but have found that simply visiting certain sites will have their emails start appearing again – even without buying anything or requesting the mail list again!
One caveat – if you are pretty sure the message is really junk (it is for one of ‘those’ products, or claims you have a million pounds waiting for you in London, or that a friend is stuck in a foreign country and needs money), do NOT unsubscribe – use your email client’s spam function, report and block the sender, and so on. These types of lists actually use the ‘remove me’ clicks to confirm legit email addresses – meaning you’ll get MORE junk mail!
2. Remove RSS feeds / unwanted email chains
I use Feedly (and use to use Google Reader) to track the latest deals, news in gaming, tech, music, technology, semiconductors, running and health. It seems like every week I find a new blog or web site to add, so it is very important to keep track of those sites I actually visit and remove those whose stuff I simply ‘mark read’ without ever checking out.
Last week I went through and pruned the list, but as the holiday deals start to flow in fast I am getting overwhelmed again and know I need to cut back some more.
3. Trim your Twitter / Facebook streams
I would love to make better use of Twitter, but there is too much, too fast appearing on my feed. Facebook and Instagram, on the other hand I keep under much tighter control. I have used ‘ManageFlitter‘ to help me reduce my Twitter feed before, and did it again this week to try to get on top of things.
Studies show that social media consume large amounts of time we never intended to spend online – and sometimes we are not even aware how much time has passed – without providing us a positive experience. Keeping control of our accounts can help us manage our time better so we can have the ability to do the things we actually want to do.
How do you plan to ‘unsubscribe’ today?