I know it seems impossible, at least to me. But I just read it in an organization book — and there is actually a book called Never Check E-mail in the Morning: and Other Unexpected Strategies for Making Your Life Work. It is written by Julie Morgenstern, a world renown organization expert. Julie is an Oprah favorite, and Cathy Black, president of Hearst, says the book is one of the top five best business books.
I am a business owner, run a nonprofit, and write on various blogs. How on earth am I not going to be able to check e-mail in the morning, and why would it be such a great strategy? I also write, and love to do it in the morning. I saw this was a question of many others reviewing the book — and found the insight she gave to be absolutely right on spot.
Julie’s argument is that if you check e-mail in the morning, you spend so much time answering all the little things all the while feeling like you are getting a lot done. Each e-mail you forward, file, answer, etc., feels like an accomplishment! This can give you a false sense of getting things done — as what is in your e-mail may not be the most important thing of the day. So the e-mails end up controlling you, instead of you controlling your own time and day.
I’ve started thinking about this — and I really can’t tell you how much I agree. No matter how early I get up, the first thing I like to do is get on my computer and get working as I am most definitely a morning person. My intention is to go to the gym around 9 a.m. Unfortunately, more and more I find myself still working through noon wondering where the time went. I FEEL like I have gotten a lot done — but have I really? Often times the answer is no, not what I really need to get done. So I end up working all the time.
Most people in work say there is NO WAY they can not check e-mail in the morning — no way! I really don’t understand this — if you have read Wayne Dyer’s book Excuses Begone, you will know what I am talking about. You can do anything you really set your mind to — if you want it that badly. Every excuse you make is just that — an excuse.
Your boss may not like it, you may not get to check some important things until the afternoon, and you may miss a critical update on facebook / twitter — however, these are all choices that we make. We have to weigh and balance the choices, and if we make a decision it is more important to check-in with our boss than be efficient (and maybe send your boss the book!), then that is a choice we make. We still CAN wait to check our e-mail in the afternoon if it is important to us and something we really want to do.
So while I think it will be a major challenge for me, I am going to try it. I’m going to use my most productive time being most productive — writing, following up with customers, answering questions about mental health, and working out. I will check my e-mail after lunch. Wish me luck!