We all know how hard it is to tame the email tiger, yet we can't seem to escape its impact in our daily work life. I've been helping business owners minimize this disruptive forcefor years. As the avenues through which to reach us increase, it requires ever-increasing vigilance. I got a little more insight into the source of the pull when going through junk snail-mail last week. There I was, reading through an offer for whole life insurance, finding myself wondering if I should fill out the form and apply. But wait, why did this piece of mail that I didn't request cause me to ask the question at all?
Since I didn't ask for the information, and I wasn't already thinking about a need to add to my life insurance benefits, why was I spending one ounce of my time wondering if I should shred and recycle the paper, or fill out the form?
Because it shows up, I have to look at it and have to make a decision.
That is how "they" get us. "They" are counting on us to stop our lives and wonder if we need it. "They" are counting on us to feel insecure about our own wisdom regarding our goals and needs, knowing that we might be persuaded to believe that we didn't know we need what they have to offer.
I'm sick of it! My time, my energy and my talent are being wasted one junk mail minute at a time.
My (Revised) Junk Mail Credo
- I will not waste my time reading email I didn't ask for unless it addresses something I'm directly interested in, for my life, my business or my clients. Delete, delete, delete.
- I will continue to unsubscribe from lists that pester rather than inform.
- I will not post a linkable email address to anything I put out there. I will send people to my website where contact forms are available. (I just installed a webform (free) from bravenet.)
- I will use a gmail address for subscribing to services with share agreements with other companies.
- I will shred and recycle junk mail I didn't ask for in the first place, unless I know it answers a question I have asked to have answered. I will schedule a time each week to read the rest.
- I will be very careful with Facebook permissions.
- I will delete the email address that has been out there to be "phished" for 11 years (after I've changed wanted subscriptions and notified those who need to know.)
I will remember that I am the authority on my needs and wants,and that if I didn't ask for it I probably don't need it...so delete it.
- What frustrates you the most about junk mail and email?
- What strategies - or tools - do you use to tame the email tiger?