Email can be a distracting time sink for any office worker. But sometimes, it’s best to get it out of the way. Over at Harvard Business Review, contributor Dorie Clark makes the case for checking email first thing in the morning.
Photo by Masahiko OHKUBO.
Yes, we’ve straight up told you not to check your email first thing in the morning. When you do, you start the day with someone else’s needs. You waste your energy on a reply instead of real work.
However, sometimes it makes sense to tackle your most dreaded tasks before you start your day — eat the frog, if you will. And sometimes, that frog is an email lingering in your inbox.
Believing in the gospel of ‘doing the most important tasks first’ and pushing email correspondence to the end of the day, I found that I consistently avoided answering certain messages because they required hard choices that my brain found taxing…I realised that if I finally wanted to vanquish those messages straggling at the bottom of my inbox, what I needed most wasn’t simply time to respond; it was the willpower and discernment to make good judgments and respond accordingly.
Personally, I check my email briefly first thing in the morning for the same reason. I’d rather get those replies out of the way than overthink them throughout the day. Clark suggests scheduling “sprints” of email checking for 20 minutes, similar to the Pomodoro Technique.
Of course, everyone is different, and for some, this might just be a distraction that keeps you from getting anything done at all. Still, it’s something to consider if avoiding email in the morning hasn’t been working well for you. For more info, check out the full post below.