Returning to the minimalism bent for a moment, Nate must share a success he has had with email over the last year. While he could have done it anywhere, it happened IN Phoenix, and is, therefore, relevant.
Nate was once THAT guy who had 200, 300, 500 unread emails in his inbox, clogging his phone and his mind. Did he care about any of them? No. Did he spend time looking at them, scrolling past them, thinking about what should be done with them eventually? Yes. This is a conflict, is it not?
It actually started back in Tucson with the inception of a new Gmail account in 2014. This email was going to be strictly for personal use. The only people who would ever know this account exists were to be human beings, not companies, not newsletters, not marketing mongrels. Well, it has been over a year and this holds true. This is also the email address that alerts to his phone. Despite popular misconceptions that Nate may be extremely popular, it only goes off three or four times a week. He knows each of those chimes has importance and doesn’t have to spend time filtering. Open, read, respond, move on. It is a beautiful thing.
The major revolution that happened in Phoenix is what is mind boggling. After a major corruption of the account for “all the other stuff”, Nate shut it down and opened a second new account for “the man” to have. However, this time Nate was extremely intentional about who “the man” was to be. He took the same strict approach, giving this email only to service providers he actually needed to engage with. Consider these the people who keep your lights on and hold your money.
Starting with a fresh email, this is the key… the secret… why someone would suffer through the last four paragraphs to get to this simple revolution. IF YOU DON’T GIVE THE ADDRESS OUT, YOU WON’T GET ANY MAIL IN.
Nate realized he was actually creating his own misery by succumbing to every cute Old Navy salesperson and rugged Ford representative. (True fact: these representatives at the auto show have nothing to do with the car company. They are models who work for a talent agency). It may seem harmless in the moment. These products, individually, are not bad. Many Nate even uses to this day. He just doesn’t need four emails a week about it. Four emails a week times ten companies equals 2,080 emails a year. Easily, this could absorb 30 hours of life a year. What about those inboxes with 3,748 emails? Suddenly the free hats and 10% off coupons aren’t as appealing. They are the hangover that lasts all year, interrupts important meetings, and usurps your mental capacity to do really awesome things.
Sometimes the process of providing an email is unavoidable, such as purchasing an airline ticket. There is a magical little button called “Unsubscribe” at the bottom of most emails. Each time he gets an email, he takes the extra second to click it. Be warned, certain companies are crafty. They actually put people in six, seven, ten email lists within their own company. Thinking you have unsubscribed, it’s all a lie. While unsubscribing from “Daily Deals”, am unknown subscription still exists to “Weekly Deals”. This process will take time. Be prepared, and have no fear. No matter how many times he has “unsubscribed”, Delta is still smart enough to send the boarding pass.