People are productive in different ways

Don’t Check Your Email in the Morning

An interesting idea from Scott Hanselman.


Insane right? I believe that checking your email in the morning is the best way to time-travel to after lunch.

Why DO we check email first thing in the morning? Well, because something crucial might have happened overnight.

There’s a few things wrong with that sentence, in my opinion. Words like “something” and “might” stick out. We check our email because of fear, a sense of disconnectedness, and (in some cases) a feeling of urgency addiction.

I think this is worth trying at least once, if you aren’t me. Me, I’ve tried this before. I find that I am WAY more productive in the afternoon and evening than I am in the morning. I’ve always hated the “9-5” workday. I find that I can’t get started and focused on a project before lunch regardless of whether I’m on IM or checking emails. There’s just something about my brain that doesn’t start working until the afternoon.

My general workflow is to check email first thing, respond if necessary, filter out the worthless emails, accept meeting requests, etc… Then I CLOSE my email client and don’t open it back up until just before I leave. Sometimes I’ll check email just before lunch if I’m waiting for a reply from someone. I do agree with Scott’s general point, don’t get so caught up in your inbox that you lose focus on the actual reason you are at work. And, as always, postpone meetings with time wasting morons.