That is how my inbox looks like any other day:
You may think this is temporary, that is abnormal. Yet this has been going on for a few years now. I’m not able to keep up with my inbox anymore. Today I don’t know why (sometimes things seem to happen all of a sudden but maybe they’ve been growing from the inside since a long time).
I started to clean my inbox and unsubscribe one by one to the newsletter I was subscribed to. However, the process was too time-consuming. I thought “isn’t there a better way to do that?”
That is why I jumped on DuckDuckGo and ducked:
Fine, let’s try this out, I thought. I subscribed and as soon as I logged into unroll.me I figured out the staggering truth:
I managed in the last few years to adhere to 177 newsletters! No wonder my inbox is always full of stuff that I have to delete on a daily basis. I probably spent the last five years of my life, dedicating at least ten minutes per day deleting those emails.
It was so time-consuming for me to unsubscribe that eventually, I let those subscriptions accumulate.
Unroll.me showed me the entire list of newsletters I had:
Also Unroll.me shows you the whole list and with one click you can unsubscribe to the unwanted emails. It took me about ten minutes to unsubscribe to 163 newsletter campaigns:
The feeling was amazing. Almost like a fasting after days of feasting, I felt relieved. That is how my inbox looks now:
Why did I do that?
Why did I unsubscribe from 163 newsletters?
I could be telling you a thousand philosophical reasons for unsubscribing from all the useless newsletters you’ve been accumulating in the last years. However, I will just follow a more straightforward logic.
I realized I spent a lot of time of my life deleting unwanted emails. Think about that for a second. If I only have been spending ten minutes a day deleting those emails in the last five years that amounts to 18,250 minutes, equivalent to 304 hours or twelve days and a half of your life!
In those (almost) two weeks you could have created your first startup. Read the most fantastic book ever written. Write the article that could have made you successful. Of course, I’m emphasizing here.
Yet the cost opportunity is too high for another reason also. Each time you get those distracting emails you are leaving whatever is that you’re doing. To focus back on the task at hand it would probably take you time and effort. Therefore, besides the time and opportunity cost, you’re also disrupting your attention toward things that may be more beneficial to you!
If that is not enough, think about another crucial aspect. Most of the things that are interesting and beneficial to you (saving a few exceptions) are things that you actively look for.
Waiting for exciting stuff to be landing in your inbox makes you a passive receiver of information. Seeking for it improves the chances to find new things that can change your perspective on the world.