Digital Minimalism: Emails, Notifications, and Spam

In Digital Minimalism, author Cal Newport makes a strong case for why we should think about the digital form of minimalism, and he is right. I know many people who never invested in optimizing this part of their lives, and they are now paying for it. 

To put it into perspective, on average, a professional in the US receives around 120 emails a day. Of these, it is likely that 5-10% are really relevant to their job or life, and the rest are unnecessary time-wasting or spam. 

Digital Freedom

Fortunately, many email providers offer an easy way to organize these emails with folders, notifications, and spam filters. For example, Gmail has an easy drag-and-drop system, which can mark an email as important or spam depending on who is sending it, forever changing the folder in which this email will appear. 

Sure, some emails will occasionally slip through this system, but after setting it up once and maintaining it over the years to come, you will mostly only see the emails that you care about, saving you time, energy, and focus, which you can reinvest into things that matter to you.

The same idea applies to smartphone notifications. Most apps will consistently remind you about themselves, and most of these reminders are pure spam since we don’t really care about some random update they send. 

Still, occasionally, there are apps that require our full attention, such as messaging apps, where all messages are relevant by default. As such, many people tend to either ignore all notifications altogether or go through them one by one, wasting precious time and energy. A well-set up notifications tab will highlight only the most important updates, creating a laser-focused efficiency in our lives.

This holds true for almost any device, application, website, or anything else that can be organized in order to make the most out of its functionality, only focusing your attention on the things you care about. This is especially the case with social media platforms, like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, which the majority of people use extensively in their lives. 

Personally, I receive around 10 emails and notifications every day due to my carefully configured email and notification systems. I can go through them in a few minutes. It did take me some time to set it all up, and I have to maintain the system daily, but the time and energy I expended is nothing compared to the freedom I have gained in return.

Picture of Roman Russo: Author of Optimal Happiness

Roman Russo: Author of Optimal Happiness

Roman Russo wasn't always happy and struggled with his own negative emotions, anxieties, and depression, until one day he pledged to resolve this part of life, whatever it took. The journey took 6 years, but it was worth it. Today, Roman considers himself to be one of the happiest people alive, part of the 1% of the happiest elite, and he now teaches others a working and universal happiness formula to reach a similar goal. He offers his best advice on Optimal Happiness social media, newsletter, blog, and books, and teaches a complete and unconditional happiness formula in his online courses.

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“The problem is that of optimization,” states Roman Russo, author of Optimal Happiness: The Fastest & Surest Way To Reach Your Happiest Potential. There is plenty of advice on how to be happier or less sad, but no one is speaking about how to become the happiest we can be. And this is the difference that makes all the difference. By not looking at our maximum potential for happiness, we fall short of achieving it. After all, we all have hundreds of ideas on how to be happier or less sad, but most people still feel like they are not living their best lives. As such, Optimal Happiness explores the question of how to be the happiest we can be, regardless of who we are, where we are from, and what our life circumstances are. It proposes a complete and unconditional formula for happiness and explains how you too can become happy today and forever, inviting you to join the 1% happiness elite and become one of the happiest people alive.

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