For years I had a dreadful “first-thing-in-the-morning-email-checking” habit.
In fact, there were some mornings it was so bad I would get out of bed, go to the bathroom and then turn on the computer. I wouldn’t even make coffee or let the dogs out before I went thru my email.
Years ago, one of my good friends, fellow big-thinking and creative entrepreneur Nancy Marmolejo, challenged me on my email-checking habits. She asked me why I did it.
I told her it was because I thought something good might be there — a new client, new project, new opportunity. And if there was, what a great way to start my day off.
But there was another reason I didn’t share with her — because I was also worried there might be bad news in there too, and I wanted to find out as soon as possible so I could deal with it.
Now, I’m actually going to talk more about this checking-email-obsession in future posts because I think it’s soooo important, but for now let’s talk about why checking email first thing in the morning is a NOT a powerful successful habit.
First off, if your email DOES have bad news or some sort of crisis — THAT is how you’re starting your day off. On a bad note. And once your day starts there, it’s a lot more difficult to turn things around.
But, regardless if your email has good, bad or indifferent news, the moment you check email you’re in other people’s energy. You’re there to take care of other people’s needs, rather than taking care of your own. And once you step into that role, it’s tough to pull back out for any sort of self-care until the end of the day when you’re probably exhausted and not really up for self-care. (And suddenly you find yourself in a position where you’re never doing any self-care activities, but that again is a post for another day.)
Now, if you instead start your day off with a self-care routine, you are now in a powerful position to start the day calm, centered and grounded, which means you’ll be in a better position to deal with whatever the day throws at you AND in a better position to turn your day around if you do find a bomb in your email (or some other negative thing pops up during the day).
It’s sort of like what they always say on the airplane — put on your own oxygen mask before helping anyone else. Because you’re no good to anyone if you’re passed out, and if you don’t take care of yourself first, then eventually you’ll be no good to your family, your business, your clients, your friends…you get the picture.
Circling back to my conversation with Nancy, I think this is what she was trying to tell me when she encouraged me to find some other way to start my day off than jumping into email — but I wasn’t in a place to hear it back then.
Which may be the exact place YOU’RE in right now. You know on some level I have a point but you’re also dismissing my point because you know it would be too difficult to actually change that routine.
That’s why next week I’m going to share with you the exact steps I took to break the “check-email-first-thing-in-the-morning” habit — because it’s one to say it and another to actually DO it.
And I’d love to hear what you think. Do you check email first thing in the morning? Did you break that habit? How did you do it? Just put it in the comments below.
© Copyright 2014 Michele Pariza Wacek (Michele PW)