Why I don’t see emails before 11.15am?

If you are like me and looking for strategies to improve your productivity, I would recommend one of my practices that has helped me tremendously to improve my productivity and maintain my stress levels at healthy competitive level.

The practice is simply that I do not see my emails before 11,15am. I use that time to focus on my #1 priority for the day. I list my number one priority in the previous night itself. This practice is very simple and it took me many months before I realized why it works. Let me walk you folks through them.

In general, the number one priority for the day for me is a bit complex and needs huge amount of focus to complete it in few hours. When i start in the morning, I do not have other things vying for my attention. I am stress free and find the energy and time to put on the single most important task of the day. And in general by 11am, I complete the task or get a real good start.

When this is done or most of it is done, I do my 2nd most important work of the day. And that is spending 15 minutes with my fabulous and incredibly talented team. In spirit of Agile methodologies we all meet and discuss at a top level what worked yesterday, what didn’t and what we plan to accomplish in the day and who needs help and who can provide that help. And then by 11.15, I am ready to face remaining part of the day knowing that all the critical things that we knew till yesterday will be handled by some one in the team. I can tell you from years of practice that when issues are being addressed by the right people, your stress level goes down significantly and your team productivity can shoot up significantly.

It is only after my short team meeting, that I look at emails. And it is 11.15am by this time. In general, I get more than 100 emails a day and most of them are routine in nature. However, being a leader in a remote site, I have come to realize that emails our life line. And just as you need to breathe and eat your food, you need to address emails to ensure your organization breathes and stays alive. However, if you are not careful, you can spend your entire day reading, replying and writing emails. That would be a glorious well paid mail man’s job. There is nothing wrong in it unless you want to contribute something of significance or of very high value. To ensure you remain proactive and not just responding to emails, I find it much better to complete important tasks before I look at emails. Emails can put you into a reactive mode,

Let me outline the 3rd area where it helps. Once in a while, there is that one email which can infuriate you, demoralize you or put you into a fighting mode. Once you are agitated, you can kiss goodbye to deep work or creative work. Your mind would be distracted and you would be in that fight or flight mode and you may lose few minutes to even a complete day. I find it much more productive to wrap up my important work of the day before I open myself up to that chance of getting distracted.

I can guarantee you that just this practice alone can bring in tremendous amount of fulfillment at the end of your day. My best wishes on your journey to enormous productivity.

21 thoughts on “Why I don’t see emails before 11.15am?”

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