In my productivity talk "How to Scale Yourself and Get More Done Than You Thought Possible" I include a challenge to the listener. It's kind of insane, but it's actually proven very useful to me when I really need to get important work done.
Don't check your email in the morning.
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.
We often go to bed with our current project or work on our minds. It's THAT project that we should probably wake up and start working on. It's that project that we kind of left unfinished when we went to bed in the first place.
We SHOULD get up and start working on our project first thing. Instead we check our email, get sucked into it, answer a few, get stressed, answer a few more, threaten to delete the whole inbox, and then it's lunch time.
When I'm not really focused, sometimes the day just slips past me. I find my feet around 5pm when the day is winding down, not at 9am when it should be winding up.
If something really really important happened it won't be in your inbox. Your phone will be blowing up. Someone will be sitting in your seat when you show up at work. They will find you.
When they DO find you, you should be working. Go to work and resist the urge to check your email. Start working immediately, head down, sprinting. There's HOURS of time before lunch to be discovered.
Here's your homework. Go to work tomorrow and don't open email until afternoon. You might be staring at first, wondering what the heck you're supposed to do. Do that project. Write that code. Work on that book. Update that blog. Do literally ANYTHING except email.
When you open email for the first time after lunch, you'll have hours of amazing work already behind you and you'll feel amazing.
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