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On the benefits of NOT checking your phone/email first thing in the morning

There are a lot of great life hacks out there.

But frankly, the best life hack is the one that most applies to your life at the time.

Actually that applies to advice in general – timing is everything.

But I’m going to go out on a limb here, and say the life hack we’re going to discuss here applies to you right now

In 2015, more than ever, we’re bombarded with stimuli.

We’ve become nations of notification junkies.

Constantly looking at our phones and laptops to see if we have any new emails or Facebook messages.

The dopamine feedback loop keeps us coming back for more.

The constant context switching can be exhausting, and it depletes one of our most powerful assets… focus.

Success in any walk of life requires focus – nothing worth building is created overnight.

However we often sabotage our focus by trying to juggle too many things at once.

Developing laser sharp focus is a skill that needs to be built.

And just making this one simple change  you will dramatically increase the quality of your life. And that is…

Don’t check email or social media for as long as possible in the mornings

Yes, it really is that simple.

Abstaining from using your devices completely isn’t necessary. Whilst its great to digital detox, the point here is to remove the clutter of other people’s input to allow you to focus on what you’re doing. If you use your devices for creating… keep doing so.

The moment you check email or social media, the peace of that morning is broken, and your brain will automatically start thinking about how to respond to the messages or notifications you’ve just received.

If you don’t believe me – try it.

Wake up one morning without checking email or social media. Then go for a walk and see how free your brain feels as a result.

Then do the same thing, but before the walk, check your email and social media.

Now evaluate what your brain is thinking about as you take the walk.

You’ll find your brain churning and toying with how to best respond to any messages you’ve received. Even if you don’t want it to!

Instead of being in control of your focus, you’re working in reactive mode.

You’re letting other people dictate what you do with your day.

You’re spoiling your most creative energy with other peoples needs and demands.

But this isn’t easy.

I’ll be the first to admit I still struggle not to check email and social media in the morning.

In fact, that’s why I’m writing this post. It’s exactly because its hard, that its worth talking about and doing.

The mental clarity, creativity and focus that is present when you adhere to the strategy is incredible.

And I want you to experience it.

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1 year ago

Well said. I’ve been practicing this for a few months now, and feel silly for not having adopted it earlier. Now I go for a walk in a park nearby 30-45 minutes before sunset, sit in the sun, and answer all my messages and emails. Another way of phrasing the idea is—and I forget who said it—email is like a to-do list that other people set for you.