When lots of people wake up in the morning, the first thing they do is check their phones for new messages. Arriving at the office, they spend the initial moments of their workday answering emails. On the surface, this seems like a logical and productive use of time: How will you know what to do if you can’t see what’s up in your world?
While it may seem counterintuitive, placing “check email” a little further down your daily priority list could result in some significant productivity gains. Think about it: First thing in the morning, you tend to be fresh and full of energy. That’s a good time for tackling major issues, solving any epic problems left from yesterday, eating the biggest frogs you can find, and so on. By making emails your first priority, however, you divert a lot of that vigor toward minor concerns and group conversations.
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