Back in 2006, I was living and working in London. I moved in to a flat in Camberwell with my friend Jonny, whom I had met in the National Youth Choir of Great Britain. Jonny was the organist at a church on Vauxhall Bridge Road and inevitably I tagged along and made that my church too.
One summer’s evening as we were walking back from church, we passed the Camberwell Evangelical Church. There was an evening service on as we could hear singing even if we couldn’t clearly see through the windows.
It seemed clear to us that they were doing some renovations as there was a yellow skip outside on the road, stacked high with debris. The skip was also on fire.
What a beautiful morning to have my second AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccination.
I had quite a dramatic response to the first dose (sore arm, fever, flu-like symptons, exhaustion). I’m hoping that my reaction to the second dose will be much less, although my arm is starting to hurt a little already.
Over the last few years, I have been slowly embracing a more minimalist approach to life. For me, minimalism isn’t about ditching everything and living a stoic lifestyle with nothing on my countertops and empty rooms—it’s about living with purpose and only keeping those things that bring value to my life.
Something that I identified that does not bring much value is the tens of email newsletters that I found myself receiving daily. I found them distracting. I found them time-consuming, going through each and needing to decide what to do with it… win it or bin it? Mostly, I’d bin in. What a waste of electricity!
I opened a Trello ticket on my current projects board called “Unsubscribe from email newsletters” and created a list to capture everything that I unsubscribe from; that way, if I realise later that I did get value from it, I knew where to go to resubscribe.
I had one simple rule: does this email newsletter give me value? If the answer was either no or I’m not sure, I unsubscribed from it and recorded that in my list.
I have been running this experiment for a little over one month now and I have unsubscribed from 67 email newsletters.
My inbox is now much clearer.
It takes me only a few minutes each day (rather than maybe one hour) to deal with emails.
I can immediately see messages of value—emails from friends and strangers, emails requiring action, and the newsletters that I do want to read and from which I get a lot of value, for example the curious journal and weekly offerings from Documentally).
If you are feeling overwhelmed by the volume of email, I thoroughly recommend it.