Filter Every Mail: a Cure for Email Addiction

Years ago I purged social media from my life, and I never looked back. I could not afford to quit email though, so I turned off the notification, only to find myself compulsively checking my inbox every 15 minutes. This week, I finally found a simple cure for my email addiction: filter every mail.

It’s as easy as it sounds: I set up a filter to have every single mail skip the inbox, so my inbox is always empty. Inbox zero by construction! One way to do this in Gmail is to create a filter for any message larger than 0MB.

Some benefits of this method: 1. It needs no plugins. 2. It works on the web, email clients, and mobile apps. 3. When I need to find information from past emails, I can still log in without seeing new messages.

The third point is very important: before this I have tried logging out, using blockers, or turning off sync from my email client, but sometimes I just need to look up this link that someone sent me either yesterday or a minute ago. Now I can just do my searching without getting jabbed by dopamine.

I still need to actually check for new mails though, but I have enough self control to check “all mails” only once every couple days.