Never Check Email in the Morning? Who made that rule?

Karen Hoffman asks

“Okay, readers… on the 17th I said I had bought Julie Morgenstern’s latest book, “Never Check E-Mail in the Morning and Other Unexpected Strategies for Making Your Work Life Work.  …on page 97… she suggests we resist e-mail for the first hour of the day… why? She states that e-mail is the world’s most convenient procrastination device. She says the most dramatic, effective way to boost your productivity is to completely avoid e-mail the first hour and instead devote that first hour every day to your most critical task. According to Julie, by concentrating on a critical task the day starts with you in charge of it, rather then the other way around. Thoughts? Comments? “

Answer: whether you should check email in the morning depends on a myriad of factors, so it’s not possible to simply issue a blanket command to never check email in the morning. If you are a support person, you may largely be tasked through email. Your most important task may have been delivered to you via email the night before, after you left, from your boss. You must create routines and systems to help you plan your day, depending on your role, information flow in your organization, and your energy level. Planning first thing in the morning can be effective for many people, although I personally prefer to plan the night before. If you determine that checking email in the morning is productive for you, not simply your favorite way to procrastinate, then HAVE AT IT!