You must unsubscribe from 97% of the newsletters you’re currently subscribed to. It will give you back your sanity.
2 min read

You must unsubscribe from 97% of the newsletters you’re currently subscribed to. It will give you back your sanity.

If you’re anything like me, your mailbox is flooded by newsletters. I was worse; ALL of my mailboxes — both personal and professional — were full of them.

I'm not talking only about the emails you get from the various retailers containing new products, offers, etc. The good ones, those that contain curated content that is genuinely useful, fun, and so on, can turn bad too.

How? When all of them combined become too much and end up cluttering your email, staying there unread for days, months, and even years.

You don't read them because you genuinely don't have time right now. You don't delete them because you'll definitely find some time to read then later. You don't unsubscribe because they might contain something really good, something lifechanging and you can't afford to miss out on it. I know the feeling, I've been telling myself these excuses for years.

STOP

The truth is that if you haven't done it already, you won't read the thousands of emails sitting unread in your mailbox. Delete them.

If you haven't read the 2-3 issues of a newsletter, you most likely won't read the rest. Unsubscribe from it.

And before I forget, indeed, one of them might end up containing something really good and lifechanging. But you'll miss it anyway since you don't really read them, you only receive them.

You may not realise it, but all of that digital clutter is bad for your mind; it subconsciously makes you feel overwhelmed and you end up stressed, and unproductive.

So, start deleting & unsubscribing now!

I did it manually, but there are online services that could help you do it if a manual process feels overwhelming. I can't recommend any since I haven't used one.

What helped me was to book a "digital decluttering" time every week, where for 30' or so I would deal with deleting emails, unsubscribing from newsletters, etc. This has evolved into decluttering more areas of my digital life in an attempt to achieve digital minimalism, but I'll expand on that in a separate essay.

Of course, you don't have to unsubscribe from everything. Pick very few based on your current interests that you think you can manage to read consistently and give it a go. It depends on the person, but I'd recommend 5 or less so you can actually manage to read them. If you don't, then don't be afraid to unsubscribe.


This essay was originally published as part of a 30-day writing challenge.