I’m sure you’ve heard of it, the carnival game in which you are given a mallet so you can attempt to whack the little creatures that pop up randomly and persistently from the holes in the game board. I recently engaged in a different form of whack-a-mole. Mine was whack-an-email.

            I sat down in front of my laptop with my primary email account open. My main objective was to find and remove my email address from a minimum of ten email lists for which I don’t read the incoming emails. I did my best to be non-discriminatory, and I unsubscribed from and then deleted emails related to political matters, news alerts and real estate. I chose to do this rather than continually just delete the emails every time I open my box because I’m tired of wasting my time filtering through all the emails I know I’m not going to open to try to find the ones that matter.

            Here’s my suggestion to you. Go through your email box after not opening any emails for a day or two, depending upon the volume of email you typically receive. Identify the ones who frequently send you emails (one or more per day) which you do not read and habitually delete. Open them, find the unsubscribe button, and get off their list.

            There are two things, though, that I don’t want you to do. First, please don’t unsubscribe from my emails! Thank you. Second, don’t get sucked into reading the content of those emails or trying to understand the marketing behind them. Your job is very simple. Whack a bunch of emails so they don’t pop back up in your inbox.

            After unsubscribing from ten or so lists, wait a week or two and see how your email box looks. Then you can determine if you need to go another round whacking emails.

            Email can be a very powerful tool, or it can be a persistent annoyance. Make your work time more productive by keeping your emails under control.