I'm always asked about the title of my book, NEVER CHECK EMAIL IN THE MORNING. Why not? Should I really wait until noon? You don't mean check at all??? My point is that while email is an incredibly powerful tool, it is also highly addictive. Unless careful, it will derail us and prevent us from getting anything else done.
A recent study featured in the New York Times, Stop Checking Email so Often, provides new scientific evidence that you will save time, increase efficiency and reduce stress by resisting the temptation to check email every 5 minutes.
I'm not saying it's easy to break the email addiction, and even when you do, there's a strong chance you'll slip back into your old ways the minute you let your guard down. But, with all of these facts in mind, it's worth refortifying your effort.
Check out this video blog to learn more about three ways to break your email addiction and gain control of your schedule.
- Completely avoid email for the FIRST hour of the day. This will allow you to center yourself before the distractions of the day hit.
- Batch process email at designated times throughout the day. Treat email as a focused task -- in intervals that work for your life (e.g. every 2 hours, 3x per day, etc.).
- Completely avoid email for the LAST hour of the day. Science shows us that screen time overstimulates us and makes it hard to go to sleep at night.
Keep in mind that as with any "addiction," you'll suffer a bit of withdrawal for the first few days, distracted with worry about what you're missing when you are disconnected for an hour or more. But hang in there -- before long, the payoff (time reclaimed to think, create, connect and relax) will become self-reinforcing. Try it. You'll like it.