We’ve all heard you should wait to check emails, but come on: who has that kind of luxury? If you’re like me, you sleep closer to your phone than you do your partner. You grab your phone before your feet hit the ground in the morning. If you do these things, I bet you immediately scan emails, fearing that disaster message but almost never finding it. It’s just part of our routine because it’s comforting in a way.
Lots of people say you’ll be more productive if you don’t check email first thing in the morning. Well somehow I tried that today and I can say with absolute glee that it actually works.
I don’t use the word glee lightly. I don’t think I’ve ever actually used the word to describe myself. But today I was happier, more creative, totally focused, and more productive. And the added bonus was when I finally checked my emails around noon, I was in such an efficient mode that I chiseled my inbox down to zero in about 30 minutes instead of the usual hour it takes.
I know most people can’t wait until noon to check email. There’s always that “what if” disaster scenario looming in our heads. Plus most of us run the risk of annoying a boss or looking like a slacker. But if you can just resist for an hour, I bet you’ll find focus, purpose and a sense of immersion in whatever you do for those 60 minutes.
So take the challenge- tomorrow morning, don’t pick up your phone while brushing your teeth. Stay out of your inbox before you head to work. I mean, come on- you’re not at work yet. This is your time, so listen to music, talk to someone, or read an article that’s been open on your browser. I would even encourage you to take it a step further- try using this time to be silent and practice non-doing. Use this time in a way that benefits you. Just don’t open your inbox… at least until you get to work.
And if you can steal a few moments for a project before you hit the inbox, I bet you’ll see some great work. It’s so rewarding in fact, I’m already planning the projects I want to take on in these productive hours tomorrow. Give it a try yourself and you’ll wonder why you ever let email take such a hold of your mornings. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the amount of time you seem to reclaim… How else do you think I found the time to write a spontaneous blog post?