Why You Shouldn’t Check E-mails as 1st Thing In The Morning

A lot of successful overachievers in the world have one thing in common that separates their days from the rest – They have a morning routine.

A morning routine just doesn’t mean waking up, bathing and going to work. A morning routine sets up your day for success and focus like no other.  The most popular book in this space is the Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod, which outlines six principles called the S.A.V.E.R.S.

PS : I have personally followed this and it works wonders!

1.     SilenceMeditation for at least 15 minutes and like Bruce Lee said in his famous video “Emptying your mind” and making your head clear.  Meditation has a lot of positives and keeping your mind fresh is probably the most important thing.

2.     Affirmation  – You encourage yourself with positive thinking and words. Think of this, as something a boxing coach would tell a boxer before a fight. We are our biggest supporters and talking to yourself with positive words would give you the necessary push to start off the day well.

3.     Visualization  – Picturing yourself as successful and in the place you want to be. Some successful people are called visionaries, because they can think of what the future looks like and go execute their dreams. Visualizing helps everybody focus on a very clear goal.

4.     Exercise  – Working up your heart rate and pushing yourself, so you can be physically and mentally prepared for bigger tasks in the day. There are about a million articles that talk about the benefits of exercise. But one thing I would say is exercise helps in creating new neurons in the brain which help you learn faster and quicker. The first step to curing depression is exercise.

5.     Reading – Going through fives pages of an inspiring book. Reading some inspirational content first thing in the morning really perks you up, and this is a book or article chosen by you.

6.     Scribing  – Getting your creative juices flowing and putting your thoughts in to words. Successful people put work out there. Writing helps you channel your thoughts and put it out in a meaningful manner. It also helps in validating your thoughts, when people appreciate your work.

Now what do all these above points have in common?

These are things that you want to do and it isn’t a reaction to something else.  Checking mails first thing in morning is possibly the most reactive thing that one could do. Why?

E-mails are filled with call to actions that other people want you to perform.  It could be

1.     People selling you stuff –

Whether we like it or not, we subscribe to blogs and our Inboxes are filled with e-mails selling a product or a service. Have you seen the subject line on some of those mails? They are so catchy and they make it look like they have answers to all your problems. The sad part is you might not have any of those problems. These mails also invoke a very strong case of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out).

Here is an example

Email example
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Thank you kind stranger but no, my domain name is not going to be hacked!

2.     Mails from co-workers and clients that isn’t ordered based on priority –

We get work e-mails that are important, but they aren’t prioritized. This means the latest e-mail you see will trigger an action response and you will start working on it immediately, now that e-mail may not be important compared to the others you received. You have to start off the day with the toughest task to give your day a boost. When you start off the day completing a big task it sets up your day for success. When you have the most energy, you need to put your best work out there. Read about Eating that Frog for an idea of this concept.

3.    News that can alter your mood  –

E-mails are inundated with news and the latest happenings of the world. A lot of times we don’t remember to unsubscribe. Starting your day off with positivity is key. A small news article like a terrorist bombing can instantly switch your mood. News just like television isn’t choice; the news websites (Including social networking sites such as Facebook) decide for you what you should be seeing.

4.     Random mails that make you procrastinate –

We’ve all subscribed to that website with funny articles, viral videos and more. This is a recipe for disaster. Imagine the first thing you do after waking up and you open your e-mail and there’s a click bait article that you completely relate to. You visit the website and there are 2 or 3 other articles with really appealing content. Now what happens? You are 35 minutes in and you’ve just read a bunch of gibberish that adds no value to your life. This breeds procrastination.

5.    Avoid decision fatigue.

Do you know why famous people like Mark Zuckerberg, President Barack Obama, Steve Jobs wear the same style of clothes everyday? If your answer was fashion statement, then it’s wrong. They want to avoid what in psychology is called decision fatigue. Decision fatigue in simple terms is “Deterioration of decision making skills when you have a choice to make or you have to decide on something”.

If your spouse asks you “Does the red dress look better or the black dress look better?” You are using your precision decision making part of your brain. If you take a host of decisions like this, you end up tiring your brain.

E-mails are a bunch of decisions, whether to act upon something or not, whether to read an article or not, whether to reply immediately or not. Every single e-mail expects a response and sub-consciously you end up taking decisions and tire yourself.

How to handle morning itching of checking emails?

So far you have understood the downside of checking emails in the morning & you are now probably relating yourself to many of the poins listed above. If yes, then you are already in the path of making your morning meaningful.

1.     Apart from the incredible morning routine mentioned above, do your best work first thing in the morning. If it’s that blog post, presentation or a piece of code you have to write.

2.     Your e-mail is not you to-do list. So create one the previous night and work on your to-do list first thing in the morning. I prefer using Wunderlist to create & manage my To-do list. This also helps me to quickly assign any task to somebody else. (especially when I’m running behind the schedule)

3.     A lot of people check their e-mails only in the afternoon when they are most sluggish.

4.     Tell people around to call you if there is anything important and if they send you a mail tell them to expect a mail only within a few hours.

5.     If you can’t avoid e-mails first thing in the morning. Prioritize your inbox and keep the most important items in your main inbox.

Well, successful people have different ways of managing their email but one thing which is common in between them: Emails is not the way to start a day. If you are doing it; it’s the right time to skip this bad habit & do something which would make your day count.

Hope you’ve found this article useful. Subscribe to our blog for more amazing and life changing articles!

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Authored By
A Blogger, Author and a speaker! Harsh Agrawal is recognized as a leader in digital marketing and FinTech space. Fountainhead of ShoutMeLoud, and a Speaker at ASW, Hero Mindmine, Inorbit, IBM, India blockchain summit. Also, an award-winning blogger.

44 thoughts on “Why You Shouldn’t Check E-mails as 1st Thing In The Morning”

  1. Abhishek Kalra

    After reading this post, I also now started believing that opening mails in morning can alter our sweet mood and can also decrease our efficiency to do productive work. S.A.V.E.R.S is a really new thing for me. I’ll surely follow this now.
    Thanks you !

  2. Prakhar Shrivastav

    Hey Harsh
    As always, your this article is also very interesting and useful. According to me every growing blogger should follow these points and a meditation is a must. I check my emails mainly in the afternoon in which I follow some useful newsletters and updates by shoutmeloud & WPBeginner.

  3. Hi Harsh,
    The First thing that I do in the morning is to check my emails and then do any kind of work.But after reading your post got something different points. I will be trying this.
    Thanks for the share.

  4. Mary Ann Garson

    I agree with that you have mentioned above as I am into a self-development niche, and yes, for me is a total must especially quitting your mind simply for at least 5 minutes to start with until you get used to.

    My normal day to day routine in the morning is to read anything that inspires me even just for a few paragraph because it really helps me to drag me out to bed, that is before doing anything else and once inspiration kicks in that is when I take action right immediately such as reaching out my goal to blog once daily, morning especially.

    I guess it works wonder to me, in my 6 months of continuously doing the same pattern, I am still blogosphere delivering a positive message to the world.

    Do you know that I don’t have any lists of topics on any given specific day? I don’t plan ahead of time on what to write about, I guess, meditation helps me big time.

  5. suraj deshmukh

    I always check emails inbox when I get up in the morning and after reading some useless messages which came from unnecessary subscribers I realise that I spend much time for reading those emails I could do any other better work in that time. Thanks for this article after reading this I understand was the problem.

  6. If I didn’t look at my Emails when I get into my office, looking for items that effect my daily tasks, I’m screwed. This might work for personal Email accounts, but certainly not for work Emails.

  7. Lots of useful insights Harsh. But in my case I always open email first to see the how many sales I got while sleeping! This make me more motivating. But in for most of the people this should not be the best thing always, as all people are not seller!
    Also I like your another idea of making to-do-list on previous night. I am gonna use this tactic soon. Thanks for such idea.

    1. @Taswir
      Here is the thing, that I experienced after being their. Even if you check the number of sales you are not doing anything meaningful. This is just another feel-good factor & while doing that we stopped paying attention to other emails which are equally important or else we leave them for do-it later. I used to do the same but I found it to be just an instant gratification. I would rather recommend anyone to open their affiliate dashboard once in a while & focus more on doing what you are best at. I’m sure sales graph will always be increasing. Try it for a while & let us know how it goes!

      1. I agree with you Harsh. Sometimes I miss important emails for this. So I would love to give a try on your tips as well…

  8. The first six hacks you have mentioned are very important for everyone. Particularly meditation, which is very important for everyone. It will ensure that in future you do not fall victim to old age related problems. It helps you to concentrate on your work.

    When u put yourself in a strict routine, your productivity graph is bound to move up. I being a diabetic somehow manage my blog after meeting my professional commitments and somehow put up a fairly satisfactory work.

  9. you are right harsh morning routine build momentum for the whole day. And doing things like meditation and exercise will help stay focused on your work all day long.
    which will enhance your productivity. i usually check emails in afternoon so i can don’t get distract from daily routine.

  10. I am really wasting my morning time in opening emails. They really push you taking actions. I just have to stop it. Well Harsh, as you know most of the bloggers are late night owls. what is your daily routine? Do you work till late night?

  11. Great Harsh, alpha.m videos and your blog both are awesome. you truly an inspiration for new bloggers all around the world

  12. Hi Harsh

    You said it right about meditation. It is a necessity of your body to have a 15minute silence and empty your mind to grab new things. Art of Living Happiness course has all the necessary ingredients to learn controlling your mind. One must do try that.

  13. The first thing I do when I get up is make eggs and bacon and then I write one blog post on my blog.

  14. You seriously Tell the truth , the first think everybody should do at the beginning of there day is drink water and meditate. Hey Harsh when you will write the next income report , waiting from long time.

    Regards

    Amit

  15. Chandrashekar Tadas

    Hi Harsh

    Your tips on morning must-do chores are quite helpful for an ultra new blogger like me. I have just joined your subscriber community I shall be keenly following your daily posts from now on.

  16. Very nice article Harsh, professionally I am an Apparel graduate and working for Levis from last couple of years, so living in pakistan and working with USA client, makes a huge time difference so our solid communication tool is email, when I get up in the morning, I see lot of emails but what I do, I practice the same things which you have mentioned except doing some excercise but now after reading this article, will start doing this as well….what I feel I do sometimes wrong, I start checking emails in my office van on the way to office whereas this is the time when I must socialize with my colleagues and should start checking and prioritizing my tasks accordingly once I will reach office. I hope you will agree with this point.

    Keep writting such valuable articles brother. Thanks

    1. @Sohaib
      I would suggest email should have dedicated time especially when we are not 100% active. This varies from person to person & for me it’s usually post lunch. I keep that time for emails & other activities.
      Looking forward to hearing your experience & learning.

  17. I am a part time blogger and first thing i do is checking my mails before i start my work, can you suggest me any ideas for part time bloggers like me how can i manage my time

  18. Great advice!

    I used to check email as the first thing in the morning. It felt good when I found that I made some affiliate sales on the last night.

    But most of the time it was distracting. It would make me responsive rather than constructive.

    However, I was able to stop this bad habit. Now I check email after the lunch.

    Thanks for sharing this great piece of content.

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