Business Resources for Authors

Start Your Day More Productively

Do you check your email first thing in the morning? If so, you may be setting yourself up to derail your day from the very start.

Many authors have told us they want to learn ways to be more productive. In today’s world where work and personal life bleed together, where we’re always connected by voice and text via our mobile phones, we stay chronically busy. We drop into our beds at night and then stare at the ceiling.

I don’t know about you, but I’m often thinking, “What did I do today?”

If your days feel busy but not as productive as you’d like, try this one simple behavior change: don’t check your email first thing in the morning.

This is Sid Savara’s advice on his Personal Development Training blog.  He shares 7 Reasons You Should Never Check Email First Thing In The Morning.

He makes a strong case for how information you read in your email can cause you to set aside that important productive task (for example, your manuscript) and respond to other people’s priorities.

His list, in a nutshell (though we heartily recommend reading the full post!) of reasons not to open email first thing:

  1. ignorance is bliss…fully productive
  2. it’s not your to-do list
  3. it’s an excuse to lack direction
  4. reaction vs proaction
  5. searching for excuses
  6. there’s no set time limit
  7. it builds expectations

My favorite quote, and I’m posting it above my computer:  “Every time you open an email, you should consider whether it’s more important than everything else on your task list – but realistically, how many of us actually do that?”

Do you think email is your productivity’s downfall? Share your woes or your solutions!

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1 Comment
  1. E-mail is definitely a problem for me! Unfortunately, I do freelance work with a 24-hour turnaround commitment, so I can’t just ignore it.

    What has helped a lot is my iPod Touch. Seriously! I don’t work my day job on Thursdays. So on my best, most truly productive Thursdays, I check my mail via iPod. I rarely respond to it there, because it’s a pain. But I know if I have client work or other urgent things. I save anything that needs my attention, turn it off, and go write either as long as I had planned for it, or as long as I feel I reasonably can before I have to address the client work.

    It’s a decent compromise. :)

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