When to Push Delete

Delete FailLike this article if this sounds like you – Your email inbox would be spilling on to the floor if it contained paper mail, and the number flashing at you from the corner of your screen is more than a little intimidating. Is that number four or five digits long? I can’t imagine the lump in your throat if it’s the latter. An important characteristic of a successful business owner is knowing when to push delete.

I found myself in the four-digit category last weekend and those little blue numbers in parenthesis on my Outlook screen repeatedly made my blood pressure rise. I would try to get through a couple emails during any downtime I had, however for every two emails I deleted ten more came in. I needed to take action… Fast.

My epiphany came by accident. While searching for an email I pushed the “From” column heading, and it was as though that little click of a button made everything clear. I could see that the pollution in my inbox, although well intended, was caused by store advertisements, LinkedIn group notifications and newsletter subscriptions. I was lucky if I had clicked on one out of every ten emails in the categories. It occurred to me that by the time I actually got to reading the Target ads all the sales would be expired. And the LinkedIn group newsletters? I needed to change my subscription settings.

Rather than be intimidated by my four-digit inbox number any longer, I knew what I had to do.

Delete the NegativeOne sender at a time I went down the list and pushed delete. I didn’t look at the email subject so as to not get sucked in to saving the email, and I only saved client emails and those from other important sources. I couldn’t immediately take the time to unsubscribe from my newsletters and group notifications, however as new emails have been coming in I’ve been deciding which to eliminate. It’s been a pretty easy process, as I quickly realized I can spend 10 minutes a day in LinkedIn and get the gist of what’s going on. I should be doing this anyway.

If you are struggling with the notion of when to push delete, let me ask you this – Are you REALLY ever going to get around to reading all those emails? Are you trying to be profitable? Make the smart decision to mass delete as soon as possible. Yes, it may be painful, however if you let it your inbox will fill back up again. My recommendation to you is to not let it.


Kim SuttonKim Sutton is the Managing Partner and Chief Everything Officer of The Sutton Companies, including Sutton Strategic Solutions and Sutton Creative Studios.  She is a graduate of The School of the Art Institute of Chicago where she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Interior Architecture.

An avid reader and passionate learner, Kim is constantly researching, studying and developing business improvement strategies. When it comes to client work, Kim especially enjoys helping her clients develop innovative marketing strategies and sales funnels, particularly when they are using Infusionsoft to automate all the heavy lifting. To find out how you can further develop your company’s marketing and automation strategies schedule a 1-hour Business Boost Strategy Session by clicking here.

In her free-time, Kim cherishes the time she gets to spend with her husband, Dave (her business partner), and five children. She also enjoys reading, knitting, writing and playing video games.

Get a copy of Kim’s FREE guide, “10 Top Tools for Small Businesses” by clicking here.


About Kim Sutton

Kim is the CEO of The Sutton Companies, including Sutton Strategic Solutions and Sutton Creative Studios. She is married to her best friend and soul mate, Dave, and together they have six children.
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