I disabled Gmail categories a while back, and I think you should do it too.
For a long time, I have been a strict follower of the Inbox Zero method. When
Gmail Categories in 2013, I quickly jumped on it and felt
I’m even in higher control of my inbox which would in turn increase my productivity.
But, the productivity promise turned out wrong. After using that new service for a few years, I’m getting the same feelings as I did before starting with that method: missing important emails, a lot of junk emails just laying in my “updates” and “promotions” categories, and occasional long time spent on email checking.
After disabling that, and archiving all the messages that jumped into my inbox from those categories, I’m again caring about my inbox. I got much more active in un-subscribing from the lists/websites that I don’t read. And I don’t get lost in the Updates tab for hours. And I’m feeling I’ve got a part of my productivity back.
So, go on, it’s easy, just disable those categories and get back your lost productivity!