Why you should NOT check email first thing in the morning (part 4 of 7):

Avoid short-term gratification to achieve long-term results

Most of the time, when we start the day checking for new messages on email, Facebook or Twitter or any of the innumerable other ways we can waste time online), we’re not really checking for anything important. It’s isn’t usually that we’re just idling searching for an excuse to not do the work we know must be done.

It’s in our nature to look for any reason to not get on with the important (often difficult or challenging) task and seek the short term gratification of answering an email or some other interruption and then justify this to ourselves later by saying we didn’t get the work done because “I had to answer that question from Jenny” or “I had to dig up a file for Geoff”.

But surely you’re too smart to fall into that trap? Don’t allow yourself the easy ‘out’ by checking your email at the start of the day (or any time) as a way of avoiding the important task at hand. Recognize that the task needs to be done and that it’s easier to do early in the day when you have higher levels of energy, so ‘just do it’.