We’re well aware that checking email first thing in the morning is a bad idea. In a Reddit AMA, psychology and behavioural economics professor Dan Ariely reminds us that the best way to derail a day is to waste the first hours on any low cognitive tasks.
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It’s easy to settle into a routine where the first couple of hours of your day are spent doing things that don’t require much thought. You might check email, mess around on Facebook, or absent-mindedly read the news. Ariely suggests that your should spend your morning doing what you want to accomplish:
One of the saddest mistakes in time management is the propensity of people to spend the two most productive hours of their day on things that don’t require high cognitive capacity (like social media). If we could salvage those precious hours, most of us would be much more successful in accomplishing what we truly want.
Generally people are most productive in the morning. The two hours after becoming fully awake are likely to be the best.
Obviously Ariely’s generalising here and everyone’s a bit different, but the point here is that many of tend to waste our best moments on stupid things because of habit and routine. If you can break out of that, you might end up having a happier day overall.