I had a FANTASTIC morning. Why? No e-mail. I'm working on a book proposal and have been distracted for days, pulled this way and that by projects and always, always responding to incoming e-mail like a starved dog being thrown a steak.
So last night I made a vow: no e-mail until my work is done. I sat down at the dining room table and started work at 7:30 this morning and--aside from quick trips to the kitchen for coffee refills--didn't move until noon. And got a ton of work accomplished.
The complication of e-mail is that even if I don't respond immediately to an e-mail, just knowing it's out there can slow me down. In the back of my mind I'll be thinking about what I need to pull together for a response, how long it will take, by what time I need to make sure it goes out, etc. It's like a constant chorus in the back of my head. But no checking... no chorus. Just the sweet sound of work being completed in a timely fashion.
I wonder if I could hold out every day until noon before I check e-mail? And should I be concerned that even the thought of such restraint sends shivers of dread down my spine? Still... there's no arguing my productivity level skyrockets without it.
Let's give it a try! I hereby declare next week has "No e-mail checked before noon week." The one exception I will make is on Wednesday where my schedule is filled with meetings and the only slot I have free to check it is between 10-11. But other than that, nada. And you all must keep me honest. Check the times on the e-mails I send you and shoot me "Cheater, cheater, pumpkin-eater" e-mail if the time is before high noon.
However, I am still allowed to get up at 3 a.m. and check for messages. A girl can't be denied all her fun.