Dear Email, I Need an Hour

artI remember using dial-up to get to the welcome screen of AOL. The excitement of dialing in would make me smile, and then to hear that familiar voice say, “You’ve Got Mail”, was great. Fast forward a couple decades and the newness is long gone, and email is just a part of our lives.

In the past, I would wake up and within five minutes I would grab my phone and see if there were any missed calls, texts, and then emails. As soon as I opened the inbox I was immediately focused on its contents. I would grab my laptop, bigger screen, and sit on the sofa and dig into the contents of my inbox. Before I knew it at least 30 minutes, more likely 60, would be gone, and I would feel a bit stressed.

Then in early October my boss, Kim, was telling me about a speaker she heard who talked about not doing email for the first hour after waking up. She went on to explain that one hour can make a huge difference in our productivity level for the rest of the day. I like to try new things to be more productive, and thought I’d give it a go.

At first it was hard, and I cheated a day or two that first week. I decided I needed to put my phone temptation out of reach, and placed it on the end table in the living room. Moving it from my nightstand made a big difference, and helped me start a new morning routine.

I’m an early riser, and instead of sitting down to work on emails, I’m getting things done. It isn’t always something big, but just to have time to empty the dishwasher, start a load of laundry, write a note, and to get cleaned up for the day without worrying about that inbox, is amazing.

I was sure there was more information about waiting an hour, and while Googling the subject I found some good articles, blogs, and even entire books on the subject. One author, Julie Morgenstern, wrote in her book, “Never Check Email In The Morning”, that, “there is very little that cannot wait a minimum of 59 minutes”. I agree, and the email can wait.

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