One of the first things I do in the morning is open my email inbox on my phone. For better or worse, it has become a habit. I rationalize that this mindless habit is beneficial because I can address any work issues that may need an immediate response. In reality, I still check my email when I am not working.
One morning over winter break, I found myself in a quiet house with no real agenda for the morning. Instead of just swiping and deleting all the unneeded emails in my inbox, I took the time to actually unsubscribe to the ones I felt I no longer had a purpose for.
Over the past week or two, I’ve tried to unsubscribe from just about everything cluttering my inbox. I started by getting off mailing lists that I got unknowingly added to. Then, I set my social media to only notify me if I get a message, request, post, etc. (i.e., stuff that requires a response). Finally, I went through my Instagram follows and parred down the number of accounts I follow. My thinking is that if I want to check out the account later, I can, and this way, I am cutting down on mindless scrolling.
The benefits of this unsubscribing are that I have less to look at. I have less to process. My inbox is uncluttered, and when I go long periods without checking my email, I only have a dozen emails at most instead of two or three. The uncluttered inbox just makes me feel calmer. Although it only takes a few seconds to delete unwanted emails, it can very quickly derail my train of thought or send me down a rabbit hole of internet browsing. Taking the time to unsubscribing really does have its benefits.
What would happen if this unsubscribing didn’t just stop with my emails and social media? What if we took the time to unsubscribe from negative thinking or comparing ourselves to others. Would it be possible to create a calmer, more simplified life? Either way, it’s worth a try. It’s a small but crucial step towards learning how to eliminate the unimportant to focus on the important.