Unsubscribing Week

I’ve talked about this before – HERE is the link. It goes a lot more into Unsubscribing, and talks about one of my favorite all-time lifesavers, FollowUpThen.com.

I often feel “guilty” unsubscribing.

Unsubscribing is the ultimate “I should…” exercise. I “should” be reading this stuff. I “should” find time to follow up on this. Blah-ti-blah.

My friends & client, Girls Gone WOD(r) Podcast, is living a “Year of Less.”

I’ve been behind on listening to their podcast (as in, I’m like 7 weeks behind – argh). I was able to listen today while walking the dog though, and they were revisiting the whole “Year of Less/Keep It Simple” idea.

(The reason that I haven’t been able to listen to any podcasts is because I’m in a book club, and I’m listening to the book (via Audible) while I’m “doing things” like walking the dog, prepping food, etc. that would normally be prime podcast-listening time. More on that book below.)

I’ve also had a ton of work recently – which means I can’t get on Facebook, skim through newsletters I’ve subscribed to, etc.

Not that I’m not grateful for the work.

But I’m actually quite “guilty” of the fact that I don’t work nearly as hard as anyone else.

No – seriously. I don’t.

I don’t need to commute to work (I work at home). I don’t need to work around anyone else’s schedule (well, usually . . . unless the other side in a contract must have a teleconference, which happens rarely). I have enough paid work that I’m able to do a consistent level of pro bono work for smaller entrepreneurs that I like. In fact – I like all of my clients. If I don’t like them, I fire them. And – yeah, here comes the part where you’re going to shoot me – if I have 8 hours’ worth of paid work per week, I can pay all my bills. (I told you that you’d be mad. And yes, yes, I said per week, not per day.)

I’ve found that when I have more work, I make better choices.

What exactly does that mean? It means that I find that my work “expands” to fit the time that I have.

too much time on my hands. Ha ha ha.

It also means that I get in a lot more trouble when I have too much time on my hands.

When I have too much time on my hands, I eat more – and always the wrong things. I will go get a glass of wine, “because I can.” I won’t stay on an “eating program.” I will play Solitaire instead of learning something new. And, paradoxically, if I don’t have a “lot” of work, I actually put off doing the work that I have.

In short, I sloth-ify.

However, when I have a good bit of work to do, I must schedule in all the things that I want to do – whether it’s meal prep, Crossfit, walking the dog, reading my book club book . . . and so I wind up getting more done. (Isn’t that weird?)

Which brings me back to Unsubscribing.

Though I feel “guilty” about doing it . . . I mean, these emails are generally from “gurus” that I relate to, I like their thoughts, etc. . . . I have to look at what’s just cluttering up my Inbox.

For example, if I subscribe to podcasts I don’t listen to, they just sit in the podcast folder on my phone. No worries.

But if I subscribe to emails that I don’t read, they stress me out, because they’re in my Inbox.

As I said in the other post – I actually have often put things I am Unsubscribing from into a separate folder that just says Unsubscribe on it and the date. So for example, I see one that says 20160511 Unsubscribe. That means that I unsubscribed to the emails in that folder on May 11 2016.

So the next time I purge – meaning, with respect to this folder, right now – I delete the old folder without going through it. (I just did that now.)

This is a digital version of my “purge and hold” strategy, found in my book.

In Fempowerment, the whole first chapter is about cleaning/clearing out your life. One suggestion is to take everything that you are not “really sure” you want to get rid of, put it into a big bag, and put a date on it. I suggest a date that’s plenty far in the future – like 6 months.

If you open up the bag to get something out of it before the date comes up, then don’t change the date . . . just re-seal the bag. When the date comes up – give the contents of the bag away or throw them away (without re-opening). To make it easier, you can mark the bag as a “Goodwill” bag, a “Clothing Swap Party” bag, or a “Throw away” bag (good for, for example, opened beauty products/makeup cluttering up your drawer).

Like I said – this is the digital version.

I “date” the Unsubscribe folder. If I discover there’s something I miss reading, I can go back and re-subscribe to it. If not, I delete the folder during the next Purge-A-Thon.

The slippery slope of subscriptions.

One thing I’ve found this time around is that there are a lot of newsletters and  the like that I actually did not subscribe to. This means that folks are selling their lists. I haven’t paid that much attention to it in the past, but I’m quite amazed by it this time around.

I can tell that the coaching association I belong to sold its list, because a lot of the stuff I’m unsubscribing to ties back to that group. (Shame on you, Association for Coaching.)

However, one of the real impetuses (impeti?) for this current round of Unsubscribing is the book that we’re reading in book club. It’s called Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble and deals with an over-50-year old ex-Newsweek tech reporter’s employment at Hubspot, an “inbound” marketing company. (If you’re at all in this industry – as I am – this book is hilarious and well worth the read – it has some laugh out loud moments.)

I have definitely fallen “prey” to the various “techniques” that he talks about in the book – which makes me a bit angry at myself. :-) As such, I’m going through my Inbox ruthlessly (take that, you inbound marketer!), eliminating all the emails related to “tactics” I “fell for” (e.g., a “free ebook” or the like).

I have put some of these into a 20170426 Unsubscribe folder, just in case I’m getting rid of email information that I might miss (these are mostly to do with folks who give me recipes, I’ll admit). But I think that it’s as unlikely as it always is that I will want to Subscribe back to any of them.

And I’m feeling I’m living the “Year of Less” thing.

Fewer emails to delete every morning is a good thing. Less guilt that I’m not reading emails that I (maybe accidentally) subscribed to is a good thing. Having a little bit more time to blog – which I’m doing so little of these days – is a good thing.

Now it’s time to go and do that work that I’ve been avoiding.

I have two projects – which means, of course, I’m procrastinating. Bad sloth, no! Better get to it!