ADHD Business Tips - Unsubscribe

Is your email inbox the bane of your existence? Does the growing number of unread messages fill you with dread with each new day?

If you can relate, you’re not alone, and you’re probably in the right place!

For many of my clients, an inbox can feel like a bit like a bottomless pit, constantly overflowing with new demands for their attention, except the most important of those demands are hidden between a bunch of other junk and easy to miss if they’re in a rush or generally feeling swamped – which typically describes their natural state. 🤪

The struggle to keep up with email can be all too real, leading to overwhelm, distraction, and decreased productivity. But thankfully there’s a simple solution that can help alleviate some of that email-induced stress: unsubscribing from email lists.

Let’s face it, our inboxes are bombarded daily with newsletters, promotions, and updates from countless sources. While these emails may seem harmless individually, they quickly add up and clutter our digital space. For those of us with ADHD, this clutter can be especially detrimental, leading to increased distraction and difficulty in focusing on important tasks as well as a hugely increased risk of missing something important.

That’s where unsubscribing comes in. By freeing yourself from the onslaught of unnecessary emails, you can declutter your inbox and regain at least some control of your digital workspace. But unsubscribing isn’t just about reducing clutter; it’s also about reclaiming your time and mental energy. With fewer distractions vying for your attention, you’ll have more bandwidth to focus on the things that truly matter and that will move your business forward.

Where to start?

As with anything, getting started is often the biggest hurdle when it comes to slowing the extraordinary volume of emails that enter your inbox every day. Here are a couple of tips from my recent unsubscribe spree:

Set a goal:

I decided to unsubscribe from 50 email lists as a starting point. You might want to do more or less than that, my advice is to choose a number that seems realistic.

Make the time:

I used an hour long execute co-working session as a chance to focus and build some momentum toward my goal. It meant I was able to set aside my other priorities but by only committing to an hour it never felt overwhelming.

You might not be keen on or have the time for such a long session and that’s ok. Blocks of 10 or 20 minutes are great too, as is simply deciding to give yourself an extra few seconds before you mass delete emails you never open from a particular sender, to hit that unsubscribe link.  

Find a buddy:

As always, finding someone to work alongside can provide added motivation as well as a little accountability.

Keep track:

Absolutely do not neglect to keep track of your progress toward your goal! This is so important for keeping focused as well as staying motivated. I used a simple tally mark system in my notebook, making a mark every time I freed myself from a new list. As you can see, I surpassed my initial goal of 50 and managed to unsubscribe from 71 lists (it took a bit longer than the initial hour!).  

Be flexible:

Our 60-minute session ended up going longer as a few of us had more to do and the time to keep working together. Of course by then I was on a roll with my goal so it was easy to keep going, and more importantly, nothing urgent and high priority got in the way.

Reducing the number of emails arriving in your inbox each day will have a positive impact on your work life for sure, but it’s unlikely to ever sit in the “Urgent/Important” quadrant of the Eisenhower Matrix. It is however something you can come back to when you have a spare 5 minutes, or on a day when you need some quick wins to get moving.

Be ruthless:

I saved this one for last because it’s my favourite. If you haven’t opened up emails from a particular sender/mailing list recently, it’s probably time to get off that list. I found that at times I was hesitant to hit unsubscribe because of FOMO but then I realised that I was already missing out on the content contained in them because I never opened them anyway. And I know as well as you do that while magical future me has time to go through and read all of those saved messages that someone has taken the time to write, actual me won’t. Ever.

Rest assured if you find at some point that you really are missing a particular email, you can always resubscribe!


Go to your inbox now and find 10 lists to unsubscribe from! If you’re lucky like me you might even be able to unsubscribe from 10 lists from the same sender.. 😬 (I hit at least 12 in one go from one company!). If that feels good, set a bigger goal!

It’s been a few weeks now since my unsubscribe spree and the flow on effects have been noticeable. Firstly, I’ve found myself far more likely to open my inbox regularly because it’s less overwhelming, which means I’m also able to be more responsive to my clients and colleagues. I’m much less likely to miss something important which means a more relaxed, happy brain, and I’m seeing only the things I genuinely care to see. I’ve not given a thought of any of the emails I might have missed out on by leaving, and I’ve made unsubscribing from unnecessary communication a new habit.

Unsubscribing from email lists can be a legit game-changer for business owners with ADHD. By reducing clutter and distractions, you can create a more focused and productive work environment. It’s time to take control of your inbox and the best place to start is by unsubscribing from those excess emails. Your future self will thank you for it!

I’ll see you back here next week!

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