This excerpt from Working Smarter for Mac Users, a new eBook by Bob “Dr. Mac” LeVitus, appears in Chapter 5: The Cure for Email Overload— Guaranteed! It has been republished verbatim, with permission.

It takes time to read the subject line of a message, and it takes more time to open a message and scan its contents. So when you get mail from a commercial entity, a list, store, or group, you should ask yourself, “do I ever read these?” If the answer is “no,” or even “maybe,” look for the unsubscribe link (usually at or near the end of the message) and click it.

Unsubscribe from Email Lists

Here’s what some typical unsubscribe links in my email in look like:

Just a few of the unsubscribe links I've seen recently...

Just a few of the unsubscribe links I’ve seen recently…

I can’t remember where I read this tip, but when I began unsubscribing to mail I didn’t care about, I reduced my overall incoming email load by at least 15% in just a few weeks.

For those who are stingy about providing an email address to commercial entities or mailing lists, this tip won’t be much use. But if, like me, you receive dozens or hundreds of list-based messages every day, start unsubscribing now. Remember, just because you once opted to receive mail from a list it doesn’t mean you’re obligated to keep reading it forever. If you don’t love it, get rid of it now.

Remember you can always resubscribe if you miss it. But my experience has been that if I was uninterested enough to unsubscribe, I’m unlikely to resubscribe. My goal these days is to see less mail in my inbox each day, not more; unsubscribing from lists I’m no longer interested in has helped a lot.

And, though it should go without saying, I am much more particular about the lists I sign up for these days. I only sign up for things that really interest me and that I’m willing to make time to read.

And that’s that.

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