Anyone else suffer from unread email anxiety?

Email anxiety

Anyone else suffer from email overload anxiety?

My unread emails have been building up for quite a while and today it reached an all time high. When I looked at my phone, the prospect of 4,153 unread emails blinked up at me.

How did this happen? Well, basically because I subscribe to a lot of blogs which I can never quite keep up with. And, because of my fear that one of ‘the great unread’ might turn out to be the answer to all my problems, I never get around to deleting them.

But let’s be honest, most of them are trying to teach me something I don’t really need to know or sell me something I don’t really need to buy.

With 4,153 emails outstanding, (not 4,153 outstanding emails – there’s a big difference), I had to wonder what this was doing to my stress levels. It was like having a big fat list of 4,153 Things To Do – it couldn’t be healthy and I needed to sort it out.

Email hoarders – it’s time to let it go…

I can assure you that I have made attempts to delete them. Whenever I’m in the doctor’s waiting room for example, or in the queue at Coles. Or the time I took my kid to see Frozen. (I spent the whole film deleting hundreds of unopened emails. It brought new meaning to the song Let it go.)

But I hadn’t even managed to make a dent. And since, on average, I receive 50 emails a day, trying to delete them all, let alone read them, is like trying to hold back the tide.

So I’ve just spent 10 minutes saving myself hours in future email deletions.

Toss the junk in one click

I read about this email management app in a recent Sunday newspaper column. took 2 minutes to scan my inbox and found 166 subscriptions, neatly presenting them in alphabetical order so I could unsubscribe from each one in a simple click.

It’s free to use, the only proviso is that you share the service via social media. (Nice share strategy – has picked up over 700k users since launch 2 years ago).

I’m glad to report I was ruthless. That business coach who’s been trying to get me to buy into his monthly mentoring club for the past year with mediocre tit-bits? Gone. Appliances Online? Gone too. (There’s never going to be such a great deal on Thermomix that I’d be able to justify the cost). Arsenal Football club? I think I can reliably depend on my husband and sons to fill me in on anything I need to know in that department.

My unsubscribe total was 101 blogs.

Yes – I left myself on 65 email lists, but I’m not ready to part with all of them just yet. Some of them have been regular visitors to my inbox for years now and I’m not quite ready to say goodbye.

Digest the rest in bite-size chunks

But another great feature of is that those subscriptions that survived the cull have been rolled into a daily digest email that gets delivered at the same time each day. No more skipping excitedly to the inbox every 5 minutes. That sounds like freedom to me.

I know there will always be more advice and information out there. Some of it may even help me in my life and career. But I’m limiting my subscriptions to those I can rely on for real insight and inspiration. For anything else I need to know, there’s Google.

Now, if only there was an app to help me sort through 4,153 emails I already have… any suggestions? And, what about you – if you had to pick say, 10 blogs to subscribe to and loose all the rest, which ones would they be?