Raise your hand if the first thing you do in the morning is check email. (Oh, come now. We’re all friends here. It’s okay — you can raise your hand.)
That was me a few years ago. Before I barely dragged myself out of bed I would check email — never mind making coffee or even taking my dogs outside. (In fact, I sometimes hadn’t even gone to the bathroom myself before I was into my email.)
Yes, I admit it. I was addicted.
It took me awhile to break the “check email” habit, and part of the reason why it took me so long is because I didn’t completely believe that it was bad for you.
I can handle it.
Oh, I’m just taking a quick peek and then I’ll do my morning self-care routine.
It’s not a big deal to check email first thing in the morning.
Yeah, well … I learned the hard way that’s not true. And, for anyone else who is a “check email first thing in the morning” denier, I offer you these 4 reasons you should stop.
Checking your email first thing in the morning is bad for you! But you can break the habit.
1. You lose control over your energy.
As soon as you begin reading emails, you’re in other people’s energy. You’re reading about, thinking about, and handling other people’s needs—and you’re not doing the same for your own needs. That’s a slippery slope. Once you go into reactive mode, you often don’t end up reclaiming your time until the end of the day, when you’re usually too tired for self-care.
2. You never know what you’re going to find.
I used to tell myself (and others) that I was checking my email first thing in the morning just in case one of those messages contained amazing news! But the truth is, I checked it first thing in the morning also because I was afraid it might contain bad news, and I wanted to know about any crises as quickly as possible so I could deal with them. If there is good news in your inbox, great! But what if there’s bad news? Then you’re starting your day off in a bad space (this does overlap a bit with the last reason I mentioned).
3. You start your day off with anxiety.
If you’re in the habit of checking your email first thing in the morning, you won’t be able to relax until you’ve done it. You’ll be thinking about what’s in there—how many unopened emails, whether they’ll require responses or other action, or whether there will, in fact, be some sort of crisis.
And then …
4. You get into your day without the right preparation.
Because you can’t relax until you check your email, you check it right away and before you know it, you’re officially in full swing. You’re responding to emails or checking on projects before you’ve even had your coffee.
Which leads me to the solution section of this post!
I’d love to share with you some ideas for how to start your day off right, so you can maintain your inner peace (also known as sanity) while dealing with anything your inbox—or your day—throws at you. These tips will help you be more productive, happier, and more successful, every day!
Step 1. Breathe into the feelings that are compelling you to check your email first thing in the morning. Breathe through those feelings until they subside. Meanwhile, don’t check that email! Keep your finger off that button. Make a conscious effort to stop the story you’re telling yourself—about whatever’s in that inbox, or what might happen if you don’t find out RIGHT NOW.
Step 2. Create a new, healthy morning routine that includes self-care. When you create a morning routine that allows you time for ritual, self-care and solid preparation, you begin your day grounded in positive energy, refreshed, and mentally prepared for whatever life throws at you!
My own morning routine includes getting up and letting the dogs out, before drinking some water. I meditate, for about 20 minutes, and then I connect with God (sometimes I pray, other times I write, and other times I simply listen). Then I move around in my body, which may mean I stretch, do yoga, or do some breathing.
The meditation, connecting with God, and movement are all self-care items that ground me in calm, positive energy, setting me up for a successful day.
Finally, I pour myself some coffee. Then, I get down to work.
Step 3. Create lasting success habits. There are several success habits I recommend when it comes to staying in control of your energy, your time, and your emotions:
- Take the time to plan your day (and maybe your week) in advance. This takes about five minutes, and dramatically increases your productivity and sense of balance.
- Check in with your business and personal goals regularly. I recommend doing this once a quarter or so, to make sure you’re connected to your vision and staying on track.
- Make your health a priority. Eat well, get enough sleep, drink enough water, and get some exercise and fresh air. I’m not saying you have to go vegan and run marathons, but make choices that support your overall health!
- Practice gratitude. Gratitude is the highest vibration you can be in! So when you’re practicing it, by taking notice of what you’re grateful for and why, you’re raising your own vibration to be in alignment with abundance.
At first, breaking the email habit may be difficult. You may find yourself going through withdrawals, and experiencing amplified versions of the emotions you associate with first-thing-in-the-morning email checking.
But with perseverance, you can develop new, healthy habits that set you up for daily and long-term success!
If this topic resonated with you, you may be interested in “Love-Based Money and Mindset: Make the Money You Desire Without Selling Your Soul.” It’s available at most online retailers. Learn more, here.
Susan K. Morrow-Johnson says
Thanks, as ever, Michele! I definitely want to get out of the habit of checking email first thing. Even worse, I also get dragged into Facebook first thing! Ugh! I like your method of “first things”; but I have a question. When do you shower and dress? I used to “spray and pray” in the shower, aka commune with my angels and guides. Since I started meditating every morning, I don’t use that time as much. I find that I can meditate after my shower and, in fact, I feel great going into meditation when I am dressed and made up and sweet and clean. As a long-time work-at-home entrepreneur, I never go to work without being dressed like I am going to an office. I swear it makes me more productive and my professionalism comes through in my copy! So when do you shower and dress? Do you feel better when you’re “done up” or does that matter to you? Thanks again!–Susan
Michele PW says
OMG – I LOVE this question! In fact, earlier this week I finally realized that no more was I going to skip a morning shower because when I do, as the day wears on I feel more and more gross and icky and I’m less and less productive. So, it depends — I’ve started exercising in the morning so sometimes I’ll take a shower after I exercise and before I meditate and sometimes I’ll take a shower after I meditate. But, I’ve definitely added in the shower before starting my day.
Susan K. Morrow-Johnson says
Good for you! Thank you!