My work day starts at 8:30am and I make a point to never look at email before then. Whether or not I start my work day with email depends on my schedule for that day. I build a custom time blocked schedule for every day; I block out all hours of the day, including when I will check email (if at all), depending on my plan for that week.
Definitely first thing in the morning. We have investors and suppliers in Europe and customers on the East Coast, so by the time I wake up at 5:00am my inbox is usually full.
I will always read and star the important emails first thing in the morning. I don’t always have to answer them but I need to know if there is anything urgent for me to handle. If nothing is urgent I will handle the most important thing first. Maybe that is making love, or maybe that is writing, or maybe that is something on my Asana task management screen.
I’ve outsourced my emails to my assistant and my wife. And even then, knowing that emails addressed to me exist in the world is painful. I like a simple life uncluttered by the mass of email correspondence. I am much more likely to hop on the phone with someone to get things done than answer an email.
I check email and Slack either during or after my first tea. I try to limit my answers to urgent messages at that time and get to the rest later.
Yes! I check email first thing in the morning. I try to scan my inbox and respond to anything critical or time sensitive before I get out the door.
When the email I see in my morning scan can be answered quickly or needs an immediate response, I deal with it. Otherwise, I wait until I get to work.
I generally check email for anything urgent, but I very rarely answer email first thing. There are more important tasks I want to put my freshness and full tank of willpower into.
It is the first work thing I do, but not the very first thing I do. I usually wait until after my tea and reading.
No, I wait until I’m either on the bus and I answer anything urgent on my phone, or when I’m at the office. I find it important to have these boundaries between my work and personal life.
I conduct a quick scan when I get to the car or the office, not before that, and then I answer based on priority. Urgent client matters are addressed first; other emails have to wait. I try my best to minimize the “race to erase” we all engage in when dealing with emails.
I answer email in the morning. I prioritize the most important emails that require a timely response and mark the others to respond to later in the morning. I add to my to-do list as I filter through each email making important notes and updates.
I usually answer email later in the day.
When my day goes the way I want it to, I wait until I’ve been up for 3-4 hours.
I usually triage email quickly in the morning, only replying to something if it is truly urgent. Otherwise, I wait until the afternoon.
I don’t answer it first thing, but if I don’t dig into it a bit, the queue gets too long, and then I’m buried—both in terms of my personal email and my work email. It’s unfortunate, but my personal email account feels more like work than it used to.
Before I get ready to leave, I usually check email, but it’s not to address or reply to anything. My main goal is just to ensure there haven’t been any overnight cancellations, requests for changes to meeting or call times, flight delays, or other shifts that would impact when I may need to leave the house or what I might need to bring. I might delete any spam or unnecessary emails I catch in the process, but I don’t answer email until I’m settled in to start working at around 10:00am.
I usually do check my emails at some point before I head out the door. I’m in a business where I never know when the phone is going to ring. When I have projects going on, I may have an email about problems or questions about an installation. Other times I may get an email from someone reaching out about a job they want me to look at. I’m always looking at my email optimistically hoping that I’ll find some good news there. Is that weird?
I always check my email first thing in the morning. When there’s something urgent in my inbox I address it right away, or when there are quick responses I can fire out first thing I do that and cross it off my list.
I do take a look at email first thing in the morning because of the pace and responsiveness required at Xerox. I respond to anything time sensitive right away.
I barely ever answer email, but I’m trying to get better about it.
I like to answer emails first thing in the morning so I can start the day with nothing looming over me.
Playwright Mia McCullough says rarely do we receive an email that needs a reply within twenty-four hours. I’ve disabled email notifications, and I respond to emails at 1:00 and 5:00pm daily. Mia is right; since I started following her advice, the world hasn’t ended.
I answer email the minute I receive it (I look at email on my laptop).
I check email first thing in the morning, but I only respond if I can dash off one- or two-sentence replies.
I leave it until later in the day. I have conditioned myself to only check email once or twice a day, and to sometimes not touch it at all for a few days at a time. This works well for me, because it means I can do more important things, but it can also be frustrating because I really dislike seeing a full inbox.
I schedule an hour every day or every other day to respond and clear out my inbox. It is an improving practice with work still to be done.
Often, I’ll check my email briefly before I start writing, to make sure nothing urgent has popped up overnight. But I always, always regret it. I only have these three precious hours a day to work on fiction, and I’m on email constantly for the other 14 or so hours I’m awake. So, as tempting as it is to check my phone first thing in the morning, I try to keep it turned off until I leave for work.
I’m working on breaking the habit by giving my phone a “bedtime.” If I make my phone off-limits from 10:00pm to 9:00am, I sleep better and I’m way more productive in the morning.
Nope. Email can wait.
I do a triage of my email after I turn off my alarm—that is, I read the subjects and leave the rest for later.
First thing in the morning (after I pray).
I like tackling my emails first thing in the morning. It lets me know what needs to be done, and then I can adjust the day’s schedule and priorities accordingly. Much of my work is freelance, which means that email is a crucial part of my workflow.
I always do a quick scroll through my inbox while I’m still in bed, but unless it’s really urgent, I tend to answer it all later in the day.
I know many people like to ease into their day by answering emails first thing, but I’ve gotten pretty good at estimating how much mental capacity I have in store for a day’s worth of productivity, and I try to reserve the first few hours for bigger tasks.
I answer my emails after I finish the team meeting with my staff, and that time varies depending on the workload. Sometimes I start answering them at 9:00am, sometimes I start at 10:30am. I like to read them first, think about them, and then answer. That way, I’m more constructive and, therefore, productive. When I get extremely busy I answer emails quickly, and that’s usually when I forget to mention something, which requires another email, creating unnecessary extra work.
I leave it until I return from dropping off my daughter at school and working out, since my Los Angeles office doesn’t open until noon in New York.
Not first thing, but I do check my email within the first thirty minutes of waking up. It’s part of me and what I do. I like to see the messages customers are sending.
I check email to make sure nothing drastic is happening, but I don’t answer anything in the morning.
I answer emails as soon as I can, which is usually as soon as I read them. My goal is an empty inbox, and emails stay in my inbox until I’ve answered them.
I try to respond to emails as soon as I see them. Otherwise, they get pushed down further in my inbox, and then it can be difficult to catch up.
I tend to answer super urgent emails first thing in the morning to get a jump on the day. The rest I try to leave until I get into the office.
A big portion of my work happens on the East Coast even though I live on the West Coast, but just about everyone I work with knows that if it isn’t an emergency, they aren’t going to get a reply until 8:00am Pacific Time at the earliest.
I often triage my email in the morning, but I hold off on answering anything until I’m at my desk.
After I’m dressed I quickly check my email and appointments for the day. If there is anything urgent or easy to answer, I take care of it right then. My goal is to have my inbox empty at the end of each day. It’s a goal I rarely achieve, but I continually work on it.
Email is a bit like a “whack-a-mole” game for me throughout the day. During any spare time I have in the morning or between meetings, I go at it… whack-a-mole, baby!
I answer overnight email in the morning and daytime email throughout the day, depending on its urgency and my schedule. I try to look and respond periodically, but I may delay something that requires more thought and writing until I can do it properly.
Unfortunately, I answer them first thing! Every morning, regardless of where I am, I always dive straight into work.
Sated and slaked, I am usually at my laptop between 6:30am and 7:00am, engaging in the daily (and usually fruitless) battle to wrestle the wretched email monster to the floor. Honestly, I simply don’t know how people do it. I just checked, and I have 5,889 unread emails in my inbox; 6,567 unread in something called “clutter” (which is likely to be an entirely appropriately named folder); and 62,742 unread in my deleted folder. And that is just from 2017. At least it gives me no end of pleasure to know that I’ve deleted on average 350 emails per day without even reading them. Bravo for life’s small victories!
I try to keep email to an absolute minimum in the early phase of the day, replying to just the critical responses. I’ve learned through failure that trying to clear my inbox would consume 100 percent of my available time, and I am simply unwilling to give that much of my day to email. Period.
I respond to emails and texts that are urgent. Sixty to seventy percent of what you get probably does not require a response or even much thought. People feel the need to include a bunch of other people in their emails. I think they feel it keeps everyone on the same page and is an efficient way to CYA (Cover Your Ass). It really isn’t. That’s my opinion and one I truly believe.
I answer the important stuff immediately and then snooze everything else until noon.
I leave it until later in the day. At Roadmap we use Slack as our primary communication internally and Intercom to talk to our users, so nothing urgent or time sensitive is in email. I check my personal email briefly in the morning and intermittently throughout the day.
Alas, I usually answer it right away. I need to stop that and take advantage of my fresh mind for creative work projects!
I don’t look at any emails, or even any media on my phone, until after I get back from my morning walk.
One of my worst habits used to be reading email from my pillow first thing upon waking up. What a horrible way to start the day! I felt stressed and annoyed before even getting out of bed.
Now I try not to even bring my phone near the nightstand, and I do not check email until after my morning routines, and after I have accomplished one to two hours of work on my most important projects for the day.
No, I generally just look at it. If an email requires a response, I answer it later on.
I like to wait until at least 10:00am to start on email; otherwise, it’s a never-ending process.
I try not to respond to email first thing in the morning. I usually check my inbox later in the morning. Checking email right after I get out of bed is the number one way to derail my morning routine.
I do a quick triage of my inboxes while sipping tea, but I respond to emails at noon and 5:00pm - or when I’m on the subway or in a taxi.
I answer it ALL day, but I definitely get to it as soon as my kids are off to school. That is just part of being a business owner that I believe is unavoidable. That said, I love my work, so it doesn’t bother me.
I go through a round of email in the morning, responding to important client emails. Then, later in the day, I do the same thing. Emails that are not critical will be flagged and checked back on later in the week as time allows.
Having spent over thirteen years working at Microsoft Corporation, a very email-intensive company, I’ve become adept at moving quickly through email so I can focus on my important work.
I try to organize my inbox at night, but I don’t answer as I am usually too tired. First thing in the morning I jump in and respond. I also use my inbox as a to-do list on top of others in Trello, My Notebook, and Asana.
Morning is my creative time (no meetings and no children up), so I tend to avoid spending a lot of time in email. I do a quick scan to make sure there is nothing urgent, then put it aside for a couple of hours until I’m in the office.
I try to wait until after 9:00am, when I am at my desk. Occasionally, depending on what’s going on in my business life, that may move up on the urgency ladder. But in a perfect world, it’s at my desk.
My life is pretty insane and nonstop. I manage my own deejay career, which is a full-time job in itself. I work with various brands in many different capacities, so there are inquiries and projects coming in all day. I also invest and advise in a lot of start-ups, so those take up a big part of my day as well.
I try to respond to emails in order of potential gain, be it money, publicity, or opportunity. I filter out the other stuff for later.
I immediately check sales, Slack, and emails when I wake up. If there’s anything urgent, I answer it immediately. Otherwise I wait to get to the office to respond.
I currently live in Europe and most of my team is in North America, so I often wake up antsy to see what has happened while I was sleeping. That said, my sanity depends on my ability to unplug, so unless there is a special project going on, I typically refrain from checking email until after breakfast.
I do everything in my power NOT to open my email until midday. My mornings are sacred writing time. I can get more good creative writing done in the three hours between 6:00am and 9:00am than I can in the eight hours between 9:00am and 5:00pm. Email invariably sends me down some rabbit hole or another.
My workout comes first. Then breakfast with music, and then email!
I very rarely answer email in the morning. When I get into work, I look at my calendar and write a to-do list for the day. I make sure I do the most important items on that list first, and once I have gone through the list, I answer email. Email is one of those never-ending things; if you don’t prioritize correctly, it won’t let you get anything done.
Figuring out the best way to deal with email was a huge breakthrough for me. I would have hundreds of emails I needed to respond to, and I would feel stressed because I wasn’t getting to them. I knew I had to make a change or my inbox would start running my life. I now manage my inbox in the following ways:
- I batch my email time. I set aside one- to two-hour blocks in my day to just respond to email. If that time ends up being late at night or on the weekends, I schedule the messages to go out first thing in the morning the next day. I don’t respond to email outside of that time.
- I use canned responses. I use Streak to save my most frequently used responses and information. It allows you to program shortcuts so you don’t even have to look up the response. I can simply type “lawarehouse” in an email, and the address of our LA location auto-fills. It’s a major time saver.
- I employ inbox zero. As soon as I respond to an email or decide not to respond, I archive it and get it out of my inbox. Only important emails that still need a response are in my inbox.
- I don’t answer every email. This was a big one for me and was hugely liberating. You don’t need to respond to every email. If it’s not a good fit or just not a priority at the moment, archive it and move on. Don’t waste your brain power.
I never answer email first thing in the morning. If I go into email early on it’s because I’m going in with a mission from My 3 Absolutes, not because I want to know who has reached out since I was last in email.
I will often check email after I get at least one of my absolutes done, though.
It depends on how urgent it is. I always take a glance at my inbox shortly after I wake up to make sure I’m on top of my day.
I answer email until the moment I go to bed at night, so unless it is one of my early bedtime nights, I generally do not have much urgent email in the morning. Other than a quick scan when I get up, I generally will not get to email until midday when I have time blocked on my calendar (usually thirty minutes, sixty if I’m lucky) to catch up.
On my busiest days, I may not get to my email until after my kids’ bedtime. My team knows how to reach me if they have something urgent I might miss in my inbox.
I usually leave it until I get to work - I’d rather get myself to the office earlier, and I need to get out the door faster in order to do so. Not checking email first thing helps me to be fully focused, as opposed to just giving my partial attention, while I’m rushing around getting ready to leave.
My day is really structured around phone meetings, and I often have early morning phone meetings at home before I even get to the office. When that’s the case, I check email quickly beforehand to make sure I know what’s going on before my meeting.
As a cartoon guy falling off a cliff would say, “Noooooooooooooooooooo.”
No email in the morning for me. In recent years, I’ve learned that email is a poor use of my fresh morning brain, which brims with creative energy and willpower. Of course, I’m lucky enough to be in a position where I know that ninety-nine percent of the emails I receive overnight aren’t so pressing that they must be answered, or else!
I check email a few times in the day, once I’ve been awake for a few hours. I start drafts by typing “Hi so-and-so…,” so I know that I need to reply but not until much later in the day.
I check my messages while I lay in bed. I look for things that I need to address immediately, however most emails aren’t urgent so I get to them when I’m on the train.
Absolutely not! Email is a terrible way to start the day. I have a special block of work time in the morning when I check for important emails, but I don’t seriously go through my inbox until much later.
I want control of my mornings. I want to control my emotions and set my own priorities. When you throw email into the mix, you lose that level of control, so I save it for later when I’m not in a creative space.
I sometimes check notifications while I’m making breakfast, just to see if anything critical has happened overnight, but I usually don’t dive into email until later in the morning.
I don’t answer email first thing, but I usually check it while I’m making the kids’ lunch - I want to see if there are any fires to put out or cancellations that may affect my schedule. Then I save the rest for the subway.
I try to check for any urgent emails first thing, answer them right away, and save the others for the subway or the office.
I have been guilty of this, but I try to keep it until later in the day.
I’m on email pretty much all through the workday. An overflowing inbox sends me into a panic. My goal for 2017 was to start with an empty inbox, and, yes, I added it to my to-do list!
I’ll take a look just to see if there’s any big news I need to address but won’t answer until after I’m done with my morning routine.
Not typically. When I end up on my bike trainer for my first workout, I check email as I pedal. If I am expecting a time-sensitive email, I may take a peek before heading out the door.
My workout is a time to be away from technology, and I have no problem unplugging; the time to unplug is a happy time for me.
I definitely answer email if I’m up in the early morning. It is the best as responses aren’t coming in. It’s a great way to maintain inbox zero. Whether I’m pulling an early morning or not, I always read The New York Times’ email digest on my phone from bed (often in a legs-up-the-wall yoga pose to get rolling for the day).
Never! I only answer emails after I’ve written, or after I’ve met an important deadline for the day. Emails are simple and quick for me to answer, so I like to reserve them for a time when my brain isn’t operating at peak creativity levels.
I deliberately don’t check or answer email until after I’ve walked out of my front door, otherwise I don’t leave. With our headquarters in the UK, I’m guaranteed to have 20-30 emails waiting for me by the time I wake up.
When home I try to answer urgent email first thing in the morning. If I wait longer, I find myself distracted by thoughts of it waiting for me.
When outdoors I don’t check, or respond to, messages very often (or at all). I need to disconnect emotionally from the human world in order to fully immerse myself in my work.
I try not to. I try to do my morning routine first. Sometimes I’ll skim them on my phone first thing, but I don’t like to do that.
Depending on the priority, I will either reply right away or leave some emails for later in the day.
Unless it’s very important, I tend to not answer emails until after my 10:00am break. I do check them first thing though, just in case. I’m not yet wise enough not to do that.
I answer email a couple times a day and not until the afternoon, usually.
Sadly, I do look at my email earlier than I should. I rarely answer it then though. I just mark it unread and deal with when my work day officially starts, at 9:00am.
One of the things I love about living in Europe is that everyone in the United States (where our business partners are located) is sleeping during the first part of my work day. This means I can work without interruption until about 1:00 or 2:00 in the afternoon, when I finally turn my attention to email requests before everyone else lands at their desks and expects an answer.
If email requires a lot of time, I address it more fully in the evenings when I’m waiting for my daughter’s ballet/flamenco classes or after she goes to bed. It works out really well.
I usually sit down to answer emails around midday or in the afternoon, but I also do it sporadically throughout the day from my phone if I’m in cell range. I have a lot of freedom with what I do, but I’m also pretty connected almost all the time.
I leave it until later in the day. I find that it’s hard to mentally return to a pre-email state once I’ve opened it, so I try to take care of my mind and body first and then tend to email.
I don’t really get work email during the night, but my Twitter account is flooded with notifications when I wake up. As much as I love my friends, I try my best to push social media to later in the day; getting sucked into Twitter too early usually sets my morning up for failure. Count this habit as a work in progress!
Later in the day.
First thing. Because I have employees around the world, they are often waiting on me. Also, I talk about entrepreneurship on both SJO.com and my Facebook account, so I usually wake up to a lot of messages. I’m a big proponent of inbox zero, so I usually get through my messages quickly.
I don’t check email first thing in the morning. I try to quickly scan my email and respond to anything urgent. I put anything that isn’t urgent into a folder that I check on Fridays when I do all my follow ups.
Sometimes I will respond to emails early in the morning, but I use Boomerang to have it sent out later in the day so that people don’t get the impression that I’m online and available and start messaging me.
I always skim my inbox in the morning, but I never answer until later in the day. Morning is my time, and my clients respect that because they respect it for themselves.
I get hundreds of emails a day. Unfortunately, I don’t have the time to answer all of them, but I do make a point to read all of them. Email doesn’t get read or answered until late morning or afternoon. I schedule in time for emails during my day.
Checking email constantly throughout the day breaks concentration and throws off any possible state of flow.
I briefly check my email in the morning, but I answer it in the late morning after writing my daily post, which needs more concentration.
I check my email during breakfast and find time to reply during the day if there is something urgent. If not, I reply to emails after my son falls asleep.
I send myself a lot of emails during the day. I use it as a Post-it Note system. My husband only checks emails three days a week; what a lunatic! Just kidding, I’m kind of jealous. Sometimes I try to do the same, but then I go back to checking every day. In my post office I saw an image of a kid and a mailman. The accompanying text said: “Kids love receiving mail.” Grownups do too!
I get very little email (most of it goes through my assistant first), so I do check my email after my prayer time. I may also have some leftover emails that I did not reply to from the day before, since half of my employees are on a different time zone.
Emails only take about 5-10 minutes of my morning.
Email is an afternoon activity. I try not to check it until after my first meal. Less critical email I Boomerang until Friday. My brain isn’t its best on Friday, but it works well enough to answer lower-priority emails.
I read it all first thing. I first respond to what’s pressing, but I respond to everything else later in the day.
I usually check my email at 10:00am, but sometimes I check it right after waking up.
I answer email first thing in the morning and last thing at night. It helps me to foster a clear perspective.
I work really hard to not get into my phone/email before breakfast because then my brain is not my own. I find I get too into solving other people’s problems and stop being present in my own life. I am deeply committed to creating more space in my day for being present in my sanity, my marriage, and my inner relationship.
Usually I dig into email right after breakfast, but it’s definitely a work in progress!
I make a point not to answer email right when I wake up, and I avoid the temptation by not keeping my electronic devices charging in my room. But since I’m running a news organization, and the morning is an incredibly important time for conversations with our editors, it’s important for me to be reachable. I’m on email as soon as I hit my bike.
I usually check email at around 10:00am in the morning.
If I’m expecting a super important response, I will check email in the morning. This tends to be a trap, though, and I get sucked in. But most days I won’t seriously go through email until around noon or even later.
In regard to email, I’m very aware of the studies and normally don’t check it until I work out. Depending on the size of my workload, I will check it briefly earlier in the morning because I have overseas contractors on many of my projects. I’ll check for updates and reply so I can get in any last minute changes before they leave the office.
So on average I’ll wait at least two hours before checking. I’d like to push it even later, until noon or even later, but I’m just not there yet.
I do check my phone first thing in the morning and will look at my personal email, as well as Instagram, as I’m waking up. This helps me to stay awake and not go back to sleep but also allows me to take a few moments to get out of bed. However, I never check my work email until I get to the lab at about 8:00am.
I always try and do email early-ish. I don’t like it hanging over my head all day, so I’d rather get to inbox zero immediately after my writing time, and be able to free up that mental space for other things.
No, I don’t look at my computer until 8:00am.
For the past six years, email has been the main mode of communication in my work, so I’m on it pretty much all day. However, I’m more mindful now than I used to be about when I send or respond to emails, in that I try not to send very many things outside of normal working hours (unless it’s really urgent or it’s clear that I don’t need a reply until working hours).
I try to have no (or as few as possible) unread emails in my inbox throughout the day, which means I respond to the bulk of them when I first get into the office, and then as they come in throughout the day.
I check my email first thing in the morning to make sure there isn’t anything urgent, but I try to hold off on answering it until later in the day. I find that I’m most creative and productive when I first wake up, so I try to channel that into more worthwhile tasks.
I answer a lot of email first thing in the morning. Since many of my customers and clients are from outside the United States, working across timezones is a constant challenge.
I’ll usually wake up and start the day with customer service questions first thing in the morning. But it doesn’t bother me. Being responsive to questions and helping people quickly is part of what I do, and it’s tremendously valuable for me and my business. I used to work in venture capital, and in that business, being highly responsive to email is a necessity. It’s the same thing for me now; entrepreneurs have important questions, deadlines, and decisions, and they need information and direction quickly so that they can move forward.
I normally allocate one hour in the morning for email and, if time allows, some quick updates on my social accounts.
I typically do a quick scan through all new messages and flag the ones I want to read more carefully or reply to at length. After this swift triage I try to answer some of the flagged ones within that hour, but there are always a few I leave for later.
First thing. I’m a bit nutty about it, really. I can’t stand the idea of starting my day with unprocessed mail. I don’t necessarily spend time answering it until later on in the day… but I do process it by either deleting or setting it aside for response later.
I don’t check email until I’ve been awake for several hours and have completed major progress on my number one priority. Fortunately, I don’t get a lot of email by design. I send very few emails, and I’ve taught my team to limit the emails they send. It’s much better to have a face-to-face discussion or phone call.
First thing! Well, I don’t spend my whole morning doing email, but I also don’t leave it until later. Long ago I learned a great trick from Chris Brogan: spend a short period of time going through and answering urgent queries, firing off anything important, and deleting junk mail. Next, focus on your creative work for a while, and then return to the rest of the mail.
I love this approach because if I completely ignore email and leave everything for later, I end up getting way behind. Once I get behind, it’s a disaster because people are waiting on things, and it takes hours upon hours to catch up and get back to everyone. By doing a little at first, I’m much more prepared for the day.
If it’s my husband’s turn to work out, I’ll usually stay in bed and go through emails until 7:00am.
I do answer emails first thing in the morning, but I typically wait until after my twenty minutes of silence. I’ve come to think of myself as a car. I give myself some time to warm up before I start moving around and answering questions.
Not until after my writing do I check email. I’ll check anything urgent and see what I can respond to quickly. I get a daily roundup of the news via Need 2 Know and try to read that before I go to the gym.
If I’m behaving, I don’t check email until after my morning writing session. I know that all it takes is one email to get me lost in busy work and ruin my morning, so I do what I can to block Gmail (and don’t have it on my phone) in the morning so that I get the most important task (usually writing an article or working on my book) out of the way before I can be distracted.
No. I’ll either start checking email at home during breakfast or wait until I’m back out of the house and ready to work for the day.
I read once that answering email first thing in the morning triggers a reactive state of mind. I agree, and therefore make it a point to leave email until later in the day.
I spend a little time in the morning on email and try to manage it throughout the day. I respond to every single email I receive so I have become an expert at efficiently answering email.
I’ve read other morning routine writers who recommend not reading email until later in the day. I’ve tried to follow that practice, but I definitely read my email before work. It’s something I’m trying to figure out.
I try (and fail about 20% of the time) to leave email answering until 10 or 11:00am. That gives me a few hours to be really productive.
I do check my email first thing in the morning. I read through them but never answer them until later in the day. I like to think about what I read and how I will respond.
I think answering email first thing in the morning is the BANE of modern existence. Numerous studies have shown that being reactive (checking email, social media, etc. first thing in the morning) is terrible for your mental health and productivity throughout the day. I try to keep my phone on airplane mode in the morning and only use it to listen to podcasts or an audio book as I do my morning routine.
My advice to anyone who will listen is never start checking email until after you have completed your morning routine, a creative writing and reading block, and have spent at least thirty minutes on your toughest work project.
Yes. I like waking up very early in the morning before my inbox gets crazy.
I do get on email within an hour of waking up, but only during the week. My business is very busy and staying on top of my business email is something that my wife and I work very hard at. Customer service and responsiveness to my clients and customers are very important to us.
We don’t spend all day on email, however. Once we check it in the morning, we take a break until midday and focus on other things.
I try to get as close to inbox zero as I can at all times, which means answering in the morning, between meeting breaks during the day, when I get home, and before I go to sleep. I get a lot of email and I do my best to keep up with all of it.
Rarely first thing. I usually check email between 10:00am and midday unless I’m in the middle of a project where other people are depending on a response from me.
That first check of the day is usually just an email triage. I respond to what’s urgent, and leave the rest for an afternoon session so I can focus on creative work in the morning.
I do answer email in the morning, though I find it’s a lazy way to feel productive and get some things done.
I feel better when I spend the first thirty minutes of the day working on a personal project that would benefit from my best attention. Examples of this include writing a song, or working on a business plan for something five years out. I can move a lot forward when I dedicate this time and it is a huge lever in developing a well-rounded life.
I used to, but this was a stress-inducing practice, and even if I take stock of it while turning off my alarm on my phone, I leave it until I’ve reached a desktop: after I’ve breathed, caffeinated, and eaten.
It makes a huge difference.
I wait until after my morning routine to answer emails, so typically I don’t get to them any earlier than 10:30am.
I skim them when I wake up and I’m lying in bed on my phone, but I like to think about what I should say for a while and have less of a reaction and more of a thought-out response. Unless there is something with a fast deadline, I take my time. Also, I work in a different time zone than a lot of people, so that works in my favor since I’m hours and hours ahead.
During more hectic weeks I’ll answer email during any hour of the day, including right when I wake up. But that’s only a few weeks out of the year. During fashion weeks, for example, I send messages, emails, or run social media campaigns almost round the clock.
I never check email first thing in the morning and try to do something creative for the first hour or two when I get into the office. As soon as you check your email, you become on the defensive and are always putting out fires or dealing with what others put in front of you. Instead I do something creative every morning.
I am a firm believer in staying on top of email. In fact, my goal is to have no more than five or fewer emails in my inbox at any given time. Because of this, my inbox is one of the first things I deal with each morning.
I go through my email as soon as my work time begins, and I make sure it is empty before moving on to other tasks. Since I keep my inbox so under control, this usually only takes a few minutes each morning.
I try to save it until I get to the office. If I check it too early, my brain starts racing because I’ll be excited to think of ways to solve a client’s problem through photography and writing, and once it starts it’s hard to stop.
I leave email until I get to the office. In general I keep my phone on airplane mode while I’m doing my morning routine so to avoid distractions. It’s an amazing habit that I implemented a year ago.
Both. I’m okay answering emails first thing. I use email the way people once wrote letters, and I correspond with old friends through email. Email doesn’t run my working life.
Now in my sixties, I’m mostly financially independent so I can work part-time and don’t have to bust my butt all the time to survive. Actually, I’ve worked part-time for my entire professional life… but that’s another story!
I don’t answer any email until I’ve gotten through my morning routine! It wasn’t always like that for me, though.
For years, my eyes would open, and I’d grab my phone. Email. Social media. Texts. Maybe some coffee, a distracted workout (exercising while answering email). Likely skipping breakfast. I always felt like my mind was on a speed train, with no clear direction where it was going. I often felt anxious, overwhelmed, disorganized, and lost under an endless pile of “to-dos.”
Now I focus on a morning I love: gratitude, hydration, exercise, and breath. Creating a morning routine I love has changed my days, and ultimately, my quality of life. It’s something I try to not compromise on, even when traveling, because the impact is just that huge.
Email is a disease. Unless it’s from someone I love, and I love most people. So email can be a slippery slope for me.
Because I know this, I don’t check my email until after I’ve accomplished at least one thing for myself in the morning or crossed off a big task on my Asana work task list. This usually happens around 11:00am or so.
Both. There are always emails I have to reply to in the morning as, with the internet, borders are diminishing, and many of my clients work in different time zones.
With that said, I don’t have a computer or internet connection set up at home, and I don’t even check email over the weekend.
One of the first things I do when I wake up is check email. I don’t necessarily respond to them right away but I take a quick look to see if there’s anything highly important, but typically I respond to them later in the day.
I’ll check in and answer anything urgent, but otherwise I’ll leave it for my mid-afternoon slump.
Checking email first thing is the morning is one of the worst things I can think of. It can affect my energy for the whole day.
I only turn my email on when I’m fully ready to face anything, and I’m ready for action. Usually this is between 9-10:00am in the morning. I don’t like leaving it until the afternoon as the energy of the afternoon is different and not the most conducive to addressing the important stuff.
After coffee and when I’m in work mode, I do tend to look at notifications and emails first thing in the morning, and answer anything which is blocking the person waiting for an answer.
Since I work in a distributed company, I pay extra attention to getting replies to people so they can move forward in their time zone. I admit I spend a larger portion than I’d like in the morning consuming information and I’d like to shift more to creating first, but it takes time to create these habits. :)
I often read emails while nursing my baby. So yes, it’s first thing.
I’ll check my email in the morning to make sure there isn’t anything urgent from my agent or any clients since I’m on the West Coast and they’ve often been up for hours on the East Coast.
If there isn’t anything that needs a response right away I usually wait to respond until after I’ve had breakfast.
Part of the sacredness of my reading time is that I touch paper before anything else.
As much as the Virgo in me wants to check my multiple email inboxes and iPhone apps, Facebook and Twitter accounts, and always stay connected to the various people I’m accountable to, I try to shelf that feeling until it becomes absolutely necessary.
I triage first thing in the morning, but usually don’t do an email sprint until lunch.
I answer emails that require only a quick reply first thing in the morning. At night, I try to answer all my emails. I like browsing my emails in the morning to see if there are any messages requiring my immediate attention.
I scan email from bed while drinking water and hanging out with my daughter, but don’t read or answer anything until I’m on my computer after my morning routine is done.
I answer email at night — my goal is to achieve inbox zero before I go to bed. Some days I’m successful, other days, less so. Regardless, I aim to wake up to a clean slate.
I do it all day long.
I zero my inbox at the end of each day (some of my favorite tools that help with this are Boomerang, FollowUpThen, and Unroll.me), which means I’m greeted with a pretty manageable inbox every morning. My strategy is to filter my messages first thing, clearing out trash and processing anything that can be done within two minutes. Only after I’ve worked on my big projects for that day for at least 1-2 hours do I then turn my attention to answering other emails.
I try and answer pertinent emails in the morning after breakfast, or I flag everything that I need to answer that day so I can easily come back to it. I like starting the day with a clear head and a clear inbox.
I try not to look at email until my most important task of the day is done, at least until about 10:00am.
There are always a ton of urgent and important tasks to do. I’ve found that checking email usually derails me from all of the things that aren’t in my inbox.
I look at them while I’m still in bed, but unless it’s urgent I wait to be in the office to respond.
Emails have a high chance of setting off my day badly, so I try to protect my morning by avoiding looking at my inbox. I answer emails whenever the mood takes me. Often I’ll do a bunch at once, if they’re all Exist customer support emails, for instance.
I try not to check email first thing in the morning, but I have a book coming out and there are a lot of folks organizing a zillion little parts from New York, three hours ahead, so I do try my best to stay up to speed with them!
I answer email all day every day. It’s my primary means of communicating with my team and the people I write about, so it’s hard to turn it off.
I start when I wake up but I usually have a hard stop around 7:30pm. I used to answer emails until midnight every night but I’ve gotten a lot better at setting boundaries with that.
It depends. Sometimes I’m so excited about what’s happening with The Daily Clue project and its members that I hop on email and our private group to tune into the conversations and reflections right away. It feels like a shot of morning espresso.
Since I can get sucked into the internet hole if I’m not mindful, lately I’ve been challenging myself to turn my phone and computer off at night and turn it back on the next day once my workout, breakfast, and writing is complete. Creating this space gives me that much more presence and focus when I do dive in.
No. I will check email in the morning just to see what is going on, or read any newsletters that I may want to see. Otherwise I tend to wait until mid-morning to respond to emails. A lot of times by then I will have either talked to the person, or the issue will have gone away. I also don’t like people thinking I will immediately respond to emails, so I try not to set that expectation.
I always check email first thing, but I don’t respond to anything until much later in the day.
It’s a horrible thing to do, but I guess that’s the downside of having a phone by your bed instead of a clock! I’ve been meaning to buy an alarm clock so I can leave my phone out of reach until I’m ready to take action on emails.
I do. By the time I’m up at 7 or 8:00am PST it’s already 10-11:00am EST, so I have to be checking or else I can miss any number of crucial emails that need my immediate attention.
Time sensitive emails get answered at some point in the morning or early afternoon, but anything that can wait gets moved to a different folder.
I “batch reply” to most emails every few days at the end of the work day. I always keep my inbox at zero, though, whether I reply immediately or move it out of my inbox.
I tend to check my email first thing, but I read recently that our most productive and creative hours are first thing in the morning, and we miss out on them when we use that energy for things that don’t require creativity or productivity, like checking emails.
I’m aiming to change that this year.
I usually pick out the most important and urgent ones, leaving the others for later in the day.
It depends. I check emails first thing in the morning, before I’ve had a chance to plan out my day. If something urgent happened overnight, then I’ll respond. Otherwise, I try to hold off until I’ve sorted my day out, and then I use the time after breakfast to start replying to emails. It makes me more anxious to not know what’s in there.
I try to leave email until later in the day.
I try and leave email until I’m finished with my morning routine, but often something will need to be addressed in London and I’m already behind a few hours timezone wise. I’ll usually check in with the audience.io UK team on Slack to make sure everyone is okay and nobody’s laptop has caught on fire.
On a good day, I won’t check email until lunch.
Not until after I’ve finished breakfast, but I’ll usually take care of that at the office before our team has practice.
I usually glance at email first thing in the morning, but I don’t reply until I get to the office (unless it’s an emergency).
I used to answer emails all day, every day, no matter the time. But I’m trying to get better at work/life separation (trying is the key word).
It depends on what the email is regarding. If it’s something important to me (I just wrote my first book, so my editor was top priority) then I will answer immediately. Other emails that can wait, do.
Sadly, I am notorious for letting emails pile up and often fail to answer them altogether (a bad habit). I like to spend the least amount of time on my computer as is humanly possible. Nothing frustrates me more than my computer and technology when it doesn’t work!
I don’t answer email in the morning, but then I don’t really get that much email; which might be a good thing
I batch emails because it’s the most effective way to get through them.
Rarely is an email urgent, so I check-in on email when I get to my desk just to make sure my team has what they need for the day. I’ll then review email again at lunchtime and do a final clear-out of email at the end of the day.
If I notice any important email notifications when I wake up, I’ll check them, but usually email waits until I’m in the office. Even then, email is not the first thing on my mind when I arrive.
I’m not a high-volume inbox kind of guy, but I can assure you that if I were, I would let them pile up until the last possible minute.
I tend to go through my inbox and Twitter before I even get out of bed, flagging emails to reply to once I get to the office.
There is nothing exciting or important enough in my life to warrant answering emails first thing in the morning.
One day I hope to be important enough to wake up stressed and overwhelmed, needing to hammer out emails, and send critical replies to Tokyo or London. Until then, I usually check my phone/email as I’m getting out of bed to make sure the world hasn’t ended or the city hasn’t burned down, but I won’t respond to anything right away.
I still believe in the art of thoughtful correspondence, and I keep a clean and simple inbox. But we’ve put a lot of pressure on ourselves to be available to everyone, all the time. Email is a passive engagement and I’d like to keep it that way.
I force myself to do it only after I planned my day. Sometimes it’s hard to do it, but it works most of the time.
Unfortunately, yes. For me, email is still a mini Christmas Eve. I can’t wait to see a new commission request or new fan mail in my inbox, it’s part of the fun of being a freelancer.
I answer email around noon each day, and try to check my email as infrequently as possible.
I check my email in the morning but I don’t answer it until much later.
I don’t want to start my day by having to deal with email – email is a terrible thing. During the day I’ll remember that I have to respond to this person, or email another. I also don’t have my email app open on my computer so I’m not bothered every time an email comes in just because a new email came in. I find that ridiculous. I also don’t have email on my phone, hell no.
I like to read it and only reply if it’s urgent. If it isn’t, I’ll leave it for a day. If an email is a question from a client, I like to email a voice memo as a reply; it’s a lot more personable.
I check my email when I’m trying to wake my body up, 5-15 minutes after opening my eyes. I’ll answer anything super important then – otherwise, it can wait until I’m committed and sitting at my office desk.
I have a terrible routine of checking email, social media, and my site immediately every time I sign on my computer. It is a bad habit, and I blame it on my obsession with stats and analytics. This is one habit I’d like to work on so that I can focus more on work and less on stats and vanity metrics.
I usually check email while I’m getting breakfast ready. I use an app called Twilight on my phone to shift the screen colour towards the red end of the spectrum so it’s not so harsh for me when I wake up. Again, because I’m part of a distributed team, I want to make sure I’m already processing what I need to do that day.
So my email ‘on’ hours (both work/personal) are around 07:00am to about 9:00pm. I know some people complain about email, but at least it’s a stable, easy to understand platform with threaded conversations. I just have an ‘ACTION’ folder and an ‘Archive’ folder. Once you’ve triaged your email (i.e. got it out of your inbox), you don’t have to reply to it until later.
Not if I can help it.
My most productive days are the days when I avoid email until as late as possible. I think it’s pretty much always better to spend your time working on your own agenda rather than responding to someone else’s. I typically don’t open email until noon. Occasionally, I’ll go later than that.
I check my personal email while I’m eating breakfast, but work waits until I get into the office. I like to know if anything exciting has come up.
Sometimes I’ll check my email via my iPhone while my coffee brews, but typically I try and save it for the work day.
Never ever in the morning!
I don’t do email or check my social media or anything like that until after 5:00pm or whenever my writing is done for the day. There’s always the risk of seeing something (bad review, angry email) that will put my creative mind into a turmoil and I do not want that to happen. I’ve lost some good writing days in the past to such things and so now I simply ignore all of that until the end of the day. I only check once a day, and that seems to work just fine.
Josh Waitzkin, who wrote The Art of Learning, pointed out that, “For too many people the creative process is dominated by external noise as opposed to internal music.” I learnt that to maintain clarity going into my work, looking at email is the most destructive thing I can do.
Checking email was such a powerful, reflexive pull for me – a hangover from office life – that I needed help. I installed Chrome Nanny, which you can use to block access to distracting sites between set times.
Once the kids are ready for the day, usually about 8:00am, I’ll go through email and check a couple of social media accounts. At the same time, my mobile phone’s ringer turns back on (it’s on silent from 8:00pm-8:00am).
Between 8:30-9:00am I’m in my office reviewing whatever I’ve scheduled for 9:00am.
Even though I don’t go right onto my PC in the morning, it’s usually soon after breakfast that I go on to do whatever I need to do. I’ve started checking my email from my phone (so I won’t need to get up).
Later in the day.
I always answer emails when on the train, as I have plenty of time to do so. That’s why smartphone is my best friend.
I avoid checking email while I’m still in bed, though I’ll often check out my Instagram feed for some visual brain food. I check email at my desk, but don’t respond to non-urgent messages until later in the afternoon.
I don’t go anywhere near email or social media until I get into work. I have found this is a good way to better be in control of your thoughts.
I try not to check my email until I’ve been awake for at least thirty minutes…but that doesn’t always happen.
Before I get out of bed, I take a look at what’s coming up today. If there are urgent emails, I answer them. Otherwise, there’s plenty of time later.
I try to leave it to when my “official” day starts.
Mailbox is the app I use, which has a gesture-based interface that makes sorting through email a visceral joy. But I try not to let the world into my brain until my routine is done. That being said, I have some work that can be urgent, and some clients have “alerts” on my phone so that they can get my attention when needed.
Not until I get to the campus. It can never be that important if they haven’t called or texted me.
I usually check it early in the morning, but might wait until later in the day to answer.
Email is the primary form of communication in my office, so I am constantly connected with my computer/iPhone.
I check it almost first thing in the morning.
I know that everyone says it’s better to leave your email for later in the day, but it calls to me until I open it up! It’s like an addiction.
I’m one of those people who check my smartphone first thing in the morning until the time I go to sleep. Responding to emails is important to me, as communication is my thing! I also utilise many social media platforms including Yelp, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook daily (I’m online 12-18 hours per day).
None of the email I receive is particularly important. I’ll glance at my notifications on my phone when I pick it up just before I leave the house, but I’ll never reply until later unless it is really urgent.
I check my email in the morning, but only after I have made a prioritized to-do list for the day. I usually check my phone and social media accounts as I walk to work from my house.
First thing. It’s embarrassing, I guess, that I’m sending out messages at 7:30am, but at least it’s not 3:00am, right?
I leave it for later. Getting into the spiritual field doesn’t really allow me to choose chaos first thing in the morning.
We’ll both glance at Facebook, Twitter, and email when we get to school. But as for writing back to messages or emails, that’s usually done later in the day when classes are finished and we have more time.
I generally try not to dig in right away. Once I’m into email, I’m in such a different headspace. I really need that half hour or forty minutes to fully wake up, so I’ll skim it on my phone but I don’t respond to anyone until I get to my laptop (office).
I try not to look at my email until after lunch. The first few hours of my day are for getting work done.
It has to be done first thing, just purely on a logistical level.
Information is power, and any clue of what my day might bring informs the decisions that I make with classes and individual students later in the day. Am I required to do cover today? Has another teacher had a brain wave in the middle of the night? Has that one remaining A-level student decided to email me their homework at 2:00am or not?
As I said; information is power.
Emails are one of my first tasks to complete, but it does depend on the importance.
I check my personal email first thing in the morning as I’ll usually find some lovely emails in there that will lift my mood throughout the day. I leave my work email until later in the day.
I generally look at the notifications on my lock screen in the morning as a glance. I normally leave it until I am on the train; twenty minutes is great time to scan and clear my email.
Due to my job, I am constantly online with email. I even get one when a phone call is coming in.
No email before 9:00am, new rule since being out of banking.
I check my inbox right after I wake up, but I’ll never reply straight away, usually waiting until work hours. I check my social media and read news while having my breakfast.
I usually avoid checking mail until after my workout. I would love to get to it later but it just never happens.
However I have disabled push notifications for email; I want to be in control of when I check mail, not the other way around.
I’m always itching to check it any time I can so if I have Wi-Fi in the hostel I’m staying in, I’ll check it when I wake up!
It varies. Usually I try not to open my email for the first couple of hours, but if there is some exciting news that I’m expecting I will check it earlier.
I try knock a few things off my to-do list before checking email or Facebook. At least that’s the ideal. Otherwise I end up falling down the rabbit hole. I’ve been pretty good disciplined about it these last few weeks.
First thing in the morning, after my prostrations and meditations.
As I handle online projects for temples and private clients I have to check emails for any urgent requests or instructions. If the work can be done immediately I usually won’t delay. All of my tasks are usually completely within the day if possible.
I don’t see to it first thing, it’s actually something I check after I’m finished my workout, cleaned myself up, and am all settled in to my work area. It just feels like something I need to do before my brain can focus on more tasks like bringing 3D models to life.
I usually go through my emails while checking up on myfitnesspal.com (the Facebook of the fitness world) and slurping down my green smoothie of deliciousness.
I check my personal email during or after breakfast. I like having “me” time up until then without any distractions. I don’t check my work email until I’m at the office.
I check it first thing but rarely reply then, unless it is important. The same goes with social media. I’m a social media fanatic and it is also my job.
I know I shouldn’t, but I do have a quick check of my email, Twitter and some sports scores when I wake up to “connect” with the world. A habit I would like to break!
I will look at my emails in the morning but I tend to do so on my mobile phone (a Samsung Note) because it enables me to quickly delete or archive my emails. If I have to I will deal with the important ones but mostly I will deal with them throughout the day as time permits. I am not an email maniac where I only open Gmail at allotted times. I know I could be more disciplined but, to be honest, I’m more focused on the outbound material.
Very rarely do I send emails first thing in the morning. That time is too precious to me for the mundaneness of email; it is the only time I will have to myself all day, and I try to keep it free from the constant buzz that will surround me in the upcoming hours.
I’ll check my inbox right away most mornings, but rarely respond until later. Nothing good or articulate was ever said in an email sent two minutes after waking up.
I work in a world that mimics a cc’d carnival. Carnivals have carousels, we have Outlook.
There is no email until after my workout, breakfast, coffee, and shower. If there is an emergency important enough, they’ll call.
First thing in the morning.
I’m trying to grow my business into something substantial so I currently don’t have the luxury of setting rules for when I respond. I’m trying to be as responsive as possible (within means) right now so I can set up meetings faster, get clients faster, learn and fail faster.
I used to. I stopped that at the end of last year. My head would be a mess and full of every sale item and request and whatever else.
Now, I check my email around 9:00am.
Recently I got into the bad habit of checking email in the morning, but it’s a terrible habit. It doesn’t really help with productivity, focus, or my core creativity—which requires a lot of “white space” for thinking and imagination.
I’d rather not check email or messages until 10:00am or so, after I’ve thoughtfully considered the days’ space, my energy, and the big-ticket, longer term items I want to work towards.
It’s one of the first things I do when I wake up.
I’m a little OCD about maintaining a manageable inbox at all times. You know, the whole, “you control the inbox, don’t let it control you” thing.
I skim emails and newspaper headlines when I wait for the gym to open. However I usually don’t start responding, unless it’s critical, until I get to one of my offices, which is between 7-8:00am.
I tend to email an hour or two after waking, just to check for any changes in the days schedule, etc.
I’d love to be one of those people that checks twice or day, or writes for 3 hours then checks email for the first time, but I’m not that guy. I go through spurts of attempting it, but I fail at it.
Since I work for myself, there are sometimes things that needed doing hours earlier (for clients not in my time-zone), so I usually need to get to a task or three right away.
I don’t check it first thing, but I’ll check it before heading out to run. So, between my most important work and my exercise I’ll answer the things that are most important, but everything else I leave until later in the day.
I’ll take a look at it on my phone and star anything I need to deal with. Very rarely do I respond to email in the morning. I usually try to end my day wrapping up any communication that needs to happen. I try not to let email filter into my consciousness all day long.
First thing. I like to know what’s going on in the world, and email doesn’t stress me out like it seems to stress out some people.
I used to think of checking email as a rosy time when I read happy messages from my nearest and dearest. Quite recently I realised that the majority of emails are not personal but are actually little jobs for me to do, even if that job is just to send a quick reply.
My ideal approach to emails is to read them and action them immediately. I don’t live daily with inbox zero, but it’s what I am always heading towards. So I don’t check my email until I actually have some time to deal with them properly, which usually means after lunch.
To read a bunch of emails and leave them for later feels no good, and to deal with them all right now feels like work. So mornings are email-free. I try to eliminate any pressure from the morning time, reserving it for relaxation, enjoyment and taking care of myself.
I check my email very early on in the day, along with any messages via social media. It stresses me out too much not to know if someone wants my time or attention for one reason or another, though I’m trying to get better about waiting to reply until after my writing and other morning projects are completed.
I’m a slave to my MacBook.
The first thing I do once I’ve got my coffee and had my cigarette is log into email, social media and my blog to respond to comments, tend to my social media accounts, and massage paying clients over email.
I like to accomplish one major task before opening my email. I once read that starting your day by checking email is a great way to let other people set your priorities for you. So true! When I screw up and check my email first thing, I fall into a fuzzy black hole and don’t accomplish anything before lunch. I dream of a day when I can live without email.
I usually answer all my emails in the late afternoon. Unless there is something pressing I am aware of in the morning, I do not check my email. I have disabled emails on my iDevices so I don’t get bombarded with notifications every two minutes.
In a perfect world I’d check it twice: once after getting some crucial writing assignments out of the way, and again at the start of my evening work sessions.
Does this happen? Nope. Tearing myself away from email is one of the biggest challenges I face. The nature of the work I’m doing currently means I have to be fairly attentive to it until I can trust it all to my assistant. She’s getting used to my insane demands. It’s a Lewinsky-Clinton type of relationship.
First thing when I wake up. It’s a terrible habit. I should stop.
I’ve tried many options for this, there is no golden answer. It depends on the clients I’m working with at the time. Some clients are going to send you triggering email overnight or early, if so, I’ll leave email off until late morning.
As a travelling house sitter (for over six years now), email for that account is checked several times a day, as early as 6:00am, as it is important to jump in with a response, or the sit goes to someone else. It’s an unusually competitive world, housesitting.
In an ideal world, I would do email once a day, just after lunch. But the world is in constant change, and so am I. Some clients are in Costa Rica, some in Japan, some in New Zealand, some in Europe, so it depends who I need to contact, and how soon I need a response. I work with a World Clock, rather than my local clock.
After breakfast I spend twenty minutes or so checking what’s happening in the world and planning any work I need to get on with. I rarely respond to email instantly but it’s good to know what needs doing later in the day.
I always have the urge to check email as soon as I wake up. Usually, I fight it, but sometimes I end up checking it. Either way, I never act on it until later in the day.
As part of my routine to be a bit more productive during the day, I was on the fence about checking email and social media first thing in the morning. There’s the school of ‘get your most important task done first’ or ‘get your niggling tasks out the way first’.
I give myself half an hour in the morning to do the Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & email rounds before using the Self Control app for mac, which blocks whichever websites you choose for a pre-determined amount of time.
I always wait at least one hour.
Like I said before, I play with Twitter or Facebook but no email. It’s just really bad if I check my email and some client tells me there is a problem on something or whatever (I have clients in France and when I get up at 5:00am they already have started their workday). Even if it’s not a big deal, I feel compelled to connect on Skype, talk to them. And basically I start working like that in my underwear and at 11:00am I’m still in my underwear and I don’t really feel good about myself. That’s why I try to avoid emails in the morning.