The first thing you do in the morning seems to set the course for your day. If your initial early-morning action is waking up late, you will stumble through the day, behind in every task, trying to play catch-up. If you wake up early and get a good start, it seems that your daily tasks are child’s play. This trend unfortunately applies to starting your day with an email checkup as well.
It may seem innocent enough. You are concerned that you may have some important communications from family members from the night before. Maybe since you went to bed, some life or death situation has occurred at work, and your help is desperately needed. These types of thoughts lead people to grab their phone or log into their computer to check their email while they are sipping their morning coffee.
If this is something you do, you should probably decide against it in the future.
Ignorance is bliss. Start your day eating a healthy breakfast. Get in some morning exercise if you can, because this leads to more energy and better productivity throughout the day. Then begin your day tackling whatever personal or business commitments you have prioritized. Try to get in at least a couple of hours before checking your email, and if you can make it until lunch, you will find yourself more efficient and productive still.
Distractions throw you off track.
You may be checking your email because you are expecting 1 or 2 pieces of communication. However, you know it is absolutely impossible not to read every new email that you received while you were asleep. Every time you click on a new email subject line, spend time reading that email, and then click on any links in that communication, you are putting yourself in a hole for the day.
Think of your email inbox as someone else’s “to-do list”. That is what it really is. This is incoming data that wants you to do something. How can you start your day attacking your priorities and responsibilities, by first finding out what other people want you to do? This is a reactive instead of proactive process.
Checking your email first thing is also a bad idea because of how your brain works in the morning.
Your mind has been resting all night. It is virtually a blank slate, waiting to be written upon. If the first thing you do is fill your brain with information from your emails, it may prioritize that data. This means that even if you have a to-do list already in place, it has just been put on the back burner.
If you absolutely, positively, must check your email in the morning, give yourself a 5 or 10 minute time limit. Be very strict. Once the time limit is up begin your day, sticking to priorities and to-do lists that were created the previous day, not something that popped up in your email.
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