The other night night I was backstage at Melbourne Fashion Week interviewing Kevin Murphy, one of the worlds most respected and sought after hairstylists. A master of his profession, Kevin’s work has graced the covers of all the major global print publications. He has also worked in cinema and directed hair teams for countless high profile fashion houses.
After chatting for awhile, I was about to leave when I asked, “How do you have longevity and continue to be creatively inspired in a career that spans more than two decades?”
Without skipping a beat Kevin said, “Checking my email isn’t the first thing I do each day. I prefer to be creative in the morning. My emails can wait until the afternoon.”
Kevin’s comments were a great reminder that even though it’s tempting, you shouldn’t start your day in your inbox.
The reason being, email is reactive and not proactive. Once you start checking email, you give up control of your productivity and just wind up bouncing from task to task, letting your inbox set your agenda.
“Successful people understand the importance of having control over their mornings and know how to use that time wisely,” says Lynn Taylor, a national workplace expert and author of Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant; How to Manage Childish Boss Behaviour and Thrive in Your Job. “These people are able to weed out the noise in their first hour and focus on what matters.”
Everyone has their unique method of prioritising, she says. “But all successful people stay focused when they start their day, and with years of practice, they realise that many things can wait, and others cannot.”
A better approach to email productivity and establishing a more effective mindset is it to kick off your morning by spending time completing the two or three things you need to accomplish for it to be a successful day. You might also like to consider limiting how often you check your email throughout the day. A recent study from researchers at the University of British Columbia found that when people were limited to checking their email to just three times per day, their stress levels decreased significantly. The folks who limited their email checking also felt that they were more able to complete their most important work. And they felt a greater sense of accomplishment at work.
For you more email productivity tips, you might like to check out this post on Checks and Spots
How do you start your work day?