I stopped checking my email first thing in the morning for a month, and it did wonders for my productivity and stress level
- Jen Glantz is a bestselling author and the founder and CEO of Bridesmaid for Hire, a boutique services company that offers professional bridesmaids who "take care of all your wedding dirty work."
- Glantz had developed a habit of checking her email first thing every morning, which might seem like a good idea, but would often derail her day by distracting her from bigger tasks that needed to get done.
- For one month, she challenged herself to only check her email every one or two days.
- Glantz says this greatly improved her productivity, reduced stress levels, and allowed her to reclaim her schedule.
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You can tell a lot about a person by the very first thing they do in the morning, when their eyes open and they are officially awake. My bad morning habit (that I began when I started my first full-time job at the age of 22, almost 10 years ago) is to check my email the second my alarm clock goes off. I am instantly propelled into a day of people asking me for things, spam emails, and problems that all seem urgent. Before I know it, I go from calm to crazy, and spend the next 30 minutes putting out both work and personal life dumpster fires. It makes every day start with urgency and stress.
As a challenge, I decided to spend the entire month of February putting an end to this bad habit.
First, I made sure that I plugged my phone into an outlet at least 20 feet away from my bed. That way, when my alarm went off, I'd have to get out of bed, which would hopefully change the habit of tossing and turning while checking emails - something I wanted to fully stop doing in the morning.
The first week like this was unusual. When I heard my alarm ring, I'd rush to my phone to shut it off, but then inevitably found myself swept into checking my email.
But then I did something drastic, something that really helped me change: I deleted my email app off my phone. This allowed me to stop checking it in the morning, as well as approximately 25 other times throughout the day.
For the majority of February, I not only stopped checking my inbox first thing in the morning, but I often went a day or two without looking at my inbox. Here's how it helped me increase my productivity and lower my stress levels.
1. It allowed me to focus on my work
2. I could prioritize what was truly urgent
3. It made me feel more in control
4. It gave me time to create a new morning routine
5. It put me in a better mood
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