Stop Checking Your Email When You First Wake Up

The first action you take in the morning may seem innocent or forgettable, but it sets the tone for how we handle the day.
Managing Editor and Producer, Behance Inc.
January 23, 2013

The first action you take in the morning may seem innocent or forgettable, but it sets the tone for how we handle the day.

Graphicly founder Micah Baldwin writes often about the trials of the entrepreneurial life, and one nugget hidden deep within his latest post (Chasing The Gleam) describes how an innocent inbox refresh in the morning can set the pace for a day of reactionary work instead of work that moves the needle on your long term goals.

Think to when you wake up. What is the first thing you do? Is it 100% for you, or is it for someone else? Is it email? Do you make breakfast for your significant other.

If the first thing you do in the morning isn’t 100% for you, selfishly, then the rest of your day will be spent not doing anything for you.

You know one of the reasons you are supposed to eat breakfast within 60 minutes of waking up? Because it tells your mind that you will be getting fed, and it settles down for the rest of the day. It doesn’t freak out and think you are going to starve and therefore stores fat.

Find something that is yours, and yours alone. I set two alarms in the morning. One at 7am and one at 7:30am. I chose to sleep to the second one. It’s small, but it’s for me. I want to sleep more, so I do. Once up, I eat breakfast, feed the animals, and then walk for 2 miles. Shower.

Then check my email.

By 9am, I have accomplished a couple of things, and my step count is ~5000, which is 50% of my daily goal, making it well within reach.

I start the day by making success an eventuality, not a possibility.

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?

Read more email management strategies on 99u.com.

Sean Blanda is the Associate Editor and Producer of 99U. Find him on Twitter at @SeanBlanda 

Managing Editor and Producer, Behance Inc.