Why you should NOT check email first thing in the morning (part 7 of 7):
Unmanaged and unspoken expectations
Many of us protest that we ‘have to’ check e-mail first thing as “others expect a response from us early in the morning!” But is that really true?
Yes, there are some requests that require a prompt response, but that happens much less frequently than we usually think! But also ask yourself “why it is that others expect a response from you early in the morning”? Do you think it might be because you’ve always responded first thing in the morning and now you’ve built up that expectation in others?
You see, the more often you check e-mail, the more often people will expect you to check it. The quicker you respond to people, the more they will grow to expect it (and the more email they will send you). But if you simply stop checking it first thing in the morning, others will learn to not expect it anymore. If you respond less quickly (but with thoughtful and well-structured messages), others will expect to have to wait (and be content about it).
Sure, it will take a week or two for others to adjust but after a short while they will adjust and fit in with your changed (and more productive) practices.
Who’s in control of your time – you or everyone else who sends you an email?