Gina at Lifehacker has a great entry on how to effectively use your time during the workday, with maximum productivity in mind. One of the key things mentioned in the article is that if you’re going to be most productive, don’t check your email first thing in the morning. Get one thing done first, then go for the inbox. The reasoning behind the argument is this: If you check your email first thing in the morning, it’s hard to stick to the important tasks that have deadlines. Things become compounded on one another when it comes to email. As the tasks pile up in your inbox, your really important things become pushed back. So just don’t open it until you’ve got at least one thing done.

I’ll be honest: I scoffed at Morgenstern’s advice at first, because my work has so much to do with what’s happening in my inbox. However, right now it’s 9:30AM and I haven’t yet checked my email. I’m not sure what’s going on in there, but this article that’s due tomorrow no matter what? It’ll be done.

Merlin at 43Folders (author of the Inbox to Zero series) agrees with Gina, and goes further to say that email is all about control: if you don’t control it, it will control you.

The larger issue is a pillar of Inbox Zero: It’s your mailbox, and you get to decide when and for how long it draws your attention. I recommend affecting that decision while awake, cogent, and adequately caffeinated.

I couldn’t put it any better, Merlin.

[Geek to Live: Control your workday via 43folders]

More email tips at Productivity 2.0.

[tags]email,productivity,lifehacker,inbox to zero,43folders,gtd[/tags]