Email inboxes have become what our physical mailboxes used to be. Coupons. Ads. Offers. It seems like a daily, overwhelming avalanche that seems impossible to maintain. Getting my inbox to zero is always my goal but never my reality. You sign up for an email list but never end up reading the content. Or you sign up for a list that bombards you with several emails a day that you feel pressured to buy something you don’t need.

At the end of the day, we all get a lot of email that is not adding value to our lives. Unfortunately, we started the chaos by providing our email account. The burden of looking through all those emails have cost us both time and money. Time is lost because we spend too much time reading through emails and offers trying to decide what to keep and what to discard. It can also cost you more money when you use the offers coming through to buy things that you don’t really need. You need to find a way to stop the massive inflow of emails before it completely buries you!

Here are some ways to help you sift through the email overload:

Prioritize what email lists are important to you. Don’t let the FOMO (fear of missing out) keep you from culling out completely useless emails. It’s easy to want to consume all the information and knowledge people are throwing out in their daily/weekly emails. You need to decide what’s important for your life right now. And stop the thinking that you need to use EVERY discount and coupon that comes through your email. It’s not like discounts and sales won’t happen ever again! If you get an email offering you a limited coupon or discount and you don’t need the item, simply delete the email and move on. Don’t save coupons for possible future purchases when there is a great likelihood that you will not use it.

Considers using a free email unsubscribe service to wade through all of the email. The task of going through all of your emails and unsubscribing from all the lists can be overwhelming – just like seeing that there are thousands of unopened emails.  There are free services out there, like UnrollMe and Trim, that will do all the heavy lifting for you and provide a way to unsubscribe from many email subscriptions at once. They will also help you determine which email lists you have been using and if you want to stay on those lists. UnrollMe was a lifesaver to help me unsubscribe from many lists that I no longer found useful.

Be conscious about giving out your email address to retailers. When you are in line at a store and are asked for an email address, just simply state that you would rather not provide one. Trust me, the associate is not going to get mad or horrified that you didn’t provide one. Most likely, they will simply move on to the next step of the checkout process. This one step will save you time and money wading through emails and spending money.

What are some techniques you use to manage your email lists?