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How Email Checking Ruins Your Entire Day — My Story

A picture showing text of how can email ruin my day.An email has arrived. We are notified with a pop-up running on our laptop or the smart phone which are always connected with our home’s and office’s WiFi internet and of course mobile data is on.

Now as soon we see the email, we rush to open it to read it all within one breath. And, we find it well over important. Then we start typing the response and get eager to reply back to the sender in the length of just few minutes so the other one could get an idea how responsive and fast we are.

Okay! Watch out! You got an email.

Are you going to check it right now?

Don’t do it now! Please, read my full post first. 🙂

First of all, mind it, that email is going to ruin you, ruin your work and ultimately ruin your day.

How can an email ruin your day?

Let’s assume a story where I am a main character. You may also label me a leading character. 🙂

Here starts the story:

One day I was up early in the morning right at 6’o clock. I went to brush my teeth, did a little walk on roof top then headed back to my work table. I turned on the laptop and booted into Windows 8.1.

Right after booting into Windows, I connected the internet and rushed to do some work because I knew I had some tasks and amongst them, one was real important. I had multiple tabs open in Opera, Google Chrome, and FireFox and was really in spirit of just Working.

Oh! Multiple tabs?? Yeah, I do it that way!

So, I spent around an hour diligently working and without any interruption and distraction, then suddenly something quacked. And it was something very important because I figured out of its importance through its voice.

At first it quacked, I was quite shocked and imagined oh!! What was that?? But by the next second, I got to know what was it.

It was just an email.

But that beep almost had me a heart attack, my heart was beating at rapid rate…

I then moved to my inbox’s tab and started reading that email which was important as well as not important at that time.

I will tell you later why that important email was not so important at that time.

As you know that I was working when that email struck me, the message in email got into my mind and led me into the world of imaginations. I then completely forgot what I was working on but started to think what to with the email. Let’s says I was planning according to the email under imagination.

I kept on thinking, thinking and thinking for about 7 minutes. As the seconds past, I got more involved in the email and literally had no clue where was I and what I was doing some minutes ago.

As I kept thinking through email, I then took some actions just for the sake of email. I first read all of it, line by line. Then I thought through the message. I planned it in my imagination. Thought of some questions. Made up some answers in mind. And finally pushed the reply button to make a response back to the sender to confirm I got it, I have these questions and I have this understanding of your email message.

And in blink of few minutes, the email was sent.

What happened next when the email was sent?

I felt accomplished! I felt productive! I felt responsive! All in all, I felt myself a champion!

As soon it was responded, I felt proud of myself to imagine that I did an extraordinary work to start the day with responsiveness. And the sender will get a clue of how responsive I am and how dutiful I will be throughout my work day.

But, that was not the case. Not anymore.

As I responded back to that email as quickest as I could and as I was in the middle of work when the email struck me. I lost myself. I lost control. I lost my focus. I lost the dedication toward the task I was working on — working without an interruption.

But that email ruined all of it.

It literally ruined my entire day because of it, I indulged into checking rest of the emails. As I checked through, I promptly responded back to few and started to take actions to resolve the things I was asked in the emails. I completely forgot what I was working on. I did not remember the task. All I remembered was the emails.

As I went through emails to emails, the initial task was nowhere in my mind. I lost all of it. The time I spent on checking the email and the dedication, I lost all of it through the process.

I couldn’t get back on that task — Not on that day.

Why that important email was not that important?

This email was actually an important one, it really was. But that task was real important. I had that task with me. I put the dedication into it. I put lots of effort into it. I was assigned to it with my will.

But that email was something to do with me in future. I would have to understand the fact that I had to work and finish the task — If not on that day but to put my best to accomplish the required percentage of the task — to drag it near to the finish line.

So, just an email ruined my entire day. The meaning of getting up early in the morning to start my work was not accomplished. That email dragged me into the hole, left me unfocused for the entire day where I couldn’t complete major things.

Early morning is the prime time for me. I can do lots and lots of work in first 2-3 hours than later in the day.

Unfortunately, it was not the same day at all for me.

However, you have control on yourself. You can really re-focus, can get back easily to your previous state. But I could not.

This was not the case of just one day but has happened to me for many days, many weeks and even years where I couldn’t get my prime time used up doing productive tasks who could make great impact on my career, on my professional life.

I knew from the beginning that what ruins my day, my focus and my productivity but I never ever coped with them seriously and with continuity to make myself an impact.

Then after years, yes you heard it right, years, I found something. Something that really changed me and still changing me.

I got an email (oh man! again an email……) few days ago which totally changed me and put me on a path which I really wanted to. As I rushed to my inbox, the title of the email struck me so hard that I literally was begging my right hand (I am right-y 😉 …) to click on that email as soon as possible.

As I read through the content, I clicked on the link embedded in that email. Why I clicked? Because I wanted to read it to ultimately change my life (I hoped so.)

And it did, it really did change me. Changed my habits. And is still changing me.

This was the email I had received from Sue Anne Dunlevie of SuccessfulBlogging.com

She’s an amazing blogger. Well, amazing may be is not a suitable word for her. I must say she is the bestest blogger I happened to know along the way.

She had a wonderful and amazing blog post recently. Not the post actually but a podcast with someone who changed me.

Why am I excited?

I am excited not just for myself but the excitement is growing into me because I want to quickly let you know who was that person I happened to know from Sue Anne’s blog post.

As you know I was a victim of getting my day all ruined up due to emails. Sue had a guest in podcast who is very best at time management.

And his name is Tor Refsland from TimeManagementChef.com — He really is Time Management Chef!! An angel for bloggers I must say!

He totally changed me. But I must admit not entirely. Ahh! Not because of his resourceful materials which he spreads for FREE but due to my laziness.

[Tweet “As long as you follow a system with continuity, you will hit the target if not sooner than later.”]

The podcast I listened over Sue Anne’s place left me with dozens of questions. Those questions which I already knew but never acted to resolve. The way Tor expressed all the hurdles general people face everyday, I started to act on those issues I am facing. I am slow but I am moving.

Please, I urge everyone to listen to that podcast. You will be so thankful to Sue and Tor. I guarantee that it is going to really help you.

Okay, Tor has an awesome video where you will find out how you can save 30 minutes today and 182.50 hours per year and spend it entirely on chasing your dream.

Over to you.

Do let me know how it goes with you after listening to that podcast. You will find out how the smallest of the actions we take from morning to evening can ruin our most-productive and prime time.

What are your acts that ruining your day? Drop in the comments.

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Adeel Sami
 

I do blog. Live as a blogger and die as a blogger.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 22 comments
TonmoyParves - March 25, 2015

Hello Adeel, Thanks for your complete guideline. Yes, agree with you that Email is now become a Big part of our Life 🙂 Everybody check their mail at last 3 times at a day. And as a Blogger, i am always do that .. Keep sharing your knowledge with us

Cheers

Reply
    Adeel Sami - March 25, 2015

    Hello Tonmoy,

    Very glad to have you here!!

    Yeah, it has become part of our routine to check emails multiple times in a day without even thinking and anytime.

    It has good + bad effects, good that we don’t miss out on important emails. Bad is, if we are in process of writing and an email is just arrived, it can veer off our attention which kills the thinking-ability, I must say creativity.

    We can allow the certain time frame to check the emails when we are not working OR stick to our work first then emails’ time.

    Thanks again Tonmoy!! I see you often! 🙂

    Reply
Harleena Singh - March 25, 2015

Hi Adeel,

Good to read all about your experiences, and I am so glad you are working on yourself to the path of success now 🙂

Yes, distractions are a part of our lives, and they are somethings we need to work our way around, if we wish to live in this online world. Being a writer and blogger for years now, one’s managed to accept these distractions and work keeping them aside, but it’s not easy for everyone, especially new bloggers. I was in the same boat once upon a time, and even now at times when I am working and if I have many tabs on, I can never get any work done.

So, the key lies in closing ALL tabs, or even just keeping the tabs you need – open, and closing the rest, or just switch off your Internet connection for a few hours till you work, and you are good to go! I do that sometimes when I need full focus or need to concentrate when I write, and I know that I will be tagged or there will be several notifications on my social media accounts. But I let them ALL wait now 🙂

It’s not easy, but you learn to take steps to make things work for you. Like, I have a set time when I visit Facebook and G+, which is usually in the mornings, while Twitter I take up at night only. Emails also, I check thrice a day, but I don’t keep the tabs open, so there are no notifications or alerts etc. There are time slots you need to give your work, based on priority, and once you do that, you just focus on that one thing, and close the rest – keeping more than 1-2 tabs open, means you are calling for distractions.

I guess it’s just a matter of making it a habit and changing yourself a little, and all of this is achievable, if you are ready for it. Glad you liked Tor’s video at Sue’s blog – I still have to take out time to hear it, and now to save time, I might download it and listen to it when I go for my morning walk (So I save time like that!)

Thanks for sharing. Have a nice week ahead 🙂

BTW – If you are using the CommentLuv plugin, it isn’t working presently, so check it out 🙂

Reply
    Adeel Sami - March 25, 2015

    Hello Harleena,

    Thank you so much for the great comment! I really like the way you are dealing with distractions. 🙂

    No distractions, many things done efficiently and swiftly with best of the quality.

    I completely agree with every inch of your comment. It’s the habit-changing process to get on the path of success with blogging and writing.

    This world is full of distractions! You are vulnerable to get distracted any moment, any minute. As I work in my home, there are lots of distractions waiting for me right from the morning. So, a peace talk is underway with my family. 🙂

    I am slowly starting into the blogging world and I believe the best done when you schedule everything. Like you, I am planning to schedule my writing time, social media time, connecting time, and everything related to keep moving with my blogging journey.

    And I got some very great points from you as well! I am going to take note of them and add in my list to cope with distractions. 🙂

    Thanks once again for the wonderful comment! It’s not just going to help me but help everyone! You too have the best week ahead!! 🙂

    Oh and thank you for raising the CommentLuv issue, sorry for the inconvenience. I’ve fixed the issue. 🙂

    See you!!

    Reply
Yatin Khulbe - March 25, 2015

Hi Adeel
Visiting your blog for the first time. I really like the theme of the page.
I can really connect with your post. Earlier I had a habit of waking up and checking the phone mail and facebook notification. For the last one month, I use my mobile for having conversation only. It feels great to use the phone for telephonic conversations only.

But, after applying this thing also, my problem was not solved. Instead of using mobile, I started using my laptop in the early morning for fetching new mails and other social notification. I was again trapped in this notification mess. Like you, I am also a morning guy. I am charged up in the morning and all ideas pop up in the morning only. I am just trying to devote time to myself in the morning where I can focus on my work in a proper manner.

I really love Tor’s video. It is a wonderful video explaining about the importance of time management. He has explained the importance of 0.5 hrs per day in a beautiful manner. In the beginning, things look small, but in totality, they leave a significant impact on our life.
Thanks for providing such a lovely post, buddy

Reply
    Adeel Sami - March 26, 2015

    Hello Yatin,

    First of all, thank you for the comment! I am so pleased to see you here! And thanks for liking the theme!! 🙂

    I so agree with you. Things look smaller at the beginning, but done everyday, will make a big difference later.

    I was almost like getting up and rushing to my smart phone to check on the notifications and the next hour, my GOD!, nothing would even start for what I do and I ended up with notifications..

    Tor’s points helped me much. Right after I am awaken, I attend my most important tasks which are my work and the writing. 🙂

    Thanks again Yatin! You will see me hitting your blog real soon!!

    ~ Adeel

    Reply
Sue Anne Dunlevie - March 25, 2015

Hi, Adeel,

I enjoyed this post – especially the part when you talked about me 🙂 What a nice surprise!

And Tor’s metaphor on the podcast, that answering email is like stopping work and answering your front door, really stuck with me after the podcast. I hear the doorbell ring every time I look at email and, most of the time, stop.

Thanks so much for your kind words about my blog and the podcast!
Sue

Reply
    Adeel Sami - March 26, 2015

    Hello Sue,

    Thank you so much for taking time to comment here! So very honored to see you at my place! 🙂

    Your every posts mean so much to me. Always something to learn like that podcast! 🙂

    Thank you once again! See you more often!

    ~ Adeel

    Reply
Tor Refsland - March 25, 2015

Great post, Adeel!

I`m so honored to be featured in your post. It makes me very happy that people are appreciating the content I am delivering.

That just verifies that I made a correct choice when I decided to leave my six-figure corporate job in order to follow my passion – to help online entrepreneurs free up more time, so they can focus on what they love to do 🙂

Since we only have 24 hours in our day, the main difference of what we achieve in life and business is a direct result of how we spend our time.

Btw, if you want more great tips on how to boost your productivity.

Check out my latest guest post at Skip Prichard – 5 Simple Steps To Blow Your Productivity Through The Roof
http://www.skipprichard.com/5-simple-steps-to-blow-your-productivity-through-the-roof/

Keep up the good work, Adeel 🙂

Tor

Reply
    Adeel Sami - March 27, 2015

    Hello Tor,

    I am very glad to have you here! And super happy to find you through Sue‘s blog! 🙂

    I am your fan, literally I am! The way you expressed the points in that podcast and the video you have for saving 182.50 hours per year, it was totally awesome! And I am a non-native English speaker but I understood all of it without a single problem.

    One again, real honored to have you at my place! I will definitely check your post on Richard’s place, it will must be an awesome one! 🙂

    Keep going and rockin’ the world, Tor!!

    ~ Adeel Sami

    Reply
ikechi - March 26, 2015

Hi Adeel

You caught me so attentive with your story as I can relate to it so well. Sometimes my emails could be so overwhelming and this usually makes me to waste time. I had to apply time management when It comes to emails and it has helped me ever since. I will definitely go check out the podcast.

Thanks for sharing.

Reply
    Adeel Sami - March 27, 2015

    Hello Ikechi,

    Thank you so very much for your comment! So glad to have you here at my place!

    Yeah, emails are definitely important but not so important in many cases, especially during the work we have, the primary work. It easily drives us into world of imagination and can let us totally forget the work we are doing minutes ago.

    Thank you for sharing your views with me! This podcast is wonderful. Lots of great time management objects you’ll find out!

    ~ Adeel Sami

    Reply
Sylviane Nuccio - March 26, 2015

Hi Adeel,

Yes, emails can be very distracting.

For me I find it even worse when I’m expecting an email, I tend to go back and forth to see if it has arrived and that’s really time consuming.

I have heard of Tor’s new product, but frankly didn’t get the time to check it out yet, because I’m so so busy this days, I hadly have enough hours to sleeps. But I’m sure that’s great suff 🙂

Great post Adeel.

Reply
    Adeel Sami - March 27, 2015

    Hello Sylvane,

    So very pleased to have you here! Thank you!!

    Ahhh the wait …. I must say that wait is a worst thing in this world. And even more than worst if the time has surpassed.

    Tor is awesome! His content is very helpful. Just check it when you can and do take some good rest during your busy schedule. 🙂

    Thanks again Sylviane for coming over my place! See you often!

    ~ Adeel Sami

    Reply
Husain - March 28, 2015

Hey Adeel, Thanks for sharing the whole article. It actually depends on you that whether you enjoy your work or not. But yes, it is indeed a truth that sometimes checking emails and ticking lists make you bore but you have to do some hard work to achieve something in your life. By the way, thanks for allowing comment box 😛

Reply
    Adeel Sami - March 28, 2015

    Hello Husain,

    Thank you for visiting me! It’s my pleasure to have you here! 🙂

    That’s very true! And sometimes it just consumes all of our energy just by looking at few emails. I get too much on my work and my personal accounts, thus, they were really making my day start with lots of stress. But since I found the system to NOT check emails right in the morning, I am feeling quite good and productive with empty mind and no stress at hand.

    Thank you so much for the visit! I see you often! 🙂

    ~ Adeel Sami

    Reply
Mohd Arif - April 2, 2015

Hi Adeel,

I am strongly agree with you, and you cover all small and big point inside your article.. I always faced every day same problem but next time, Every time when I check my email in evening, that’s my baring time. I only check my email subject if email are not have not valid information I will delete all emails that’s why I didn’t waste my time into email…
But your article driving awesome information..

Regards
Mohd Arif..

Reply
    Adeel Sami - April 2, 2015

    Hello Arif,

    Thank you so much for the visit and leaving the valuable comment on my place! So pleased to have you here!

    Definitely! That’s very correct that reading emails’ subject lines are way too determinable whether or not if the email is worth checking.

    Thank you once again and I see you often!

    ~ Adeel

    Reply
Ajay Pai - April 5, 2015

Interesting read.

The technical aspect covered in a live example made it worth the read. Fortunately /unfortunately I work majorly on emails, as I work for a bank.

Distractions are the rule for the day. I guess prioritization should do the required magic here.

Thanks for the share.

Reply
    Adeel Sami - April 5, 2015

    Hello Ajay,

    Thank you so much for your comment and thank you for liking the content, truly honored!

    That’s too right that as we live in the world full of distractions, it is well needed to prioritize the things. Emails are not there to entirely ignore but require prioritization, that we don’t keep check on them all the time but arrange some time-frame to check them frequently.

    Thanks once again Ajay! I see you often! 🙂

    Reply
Bilal Khan Meo - May 8, 2015

Hi,
Nice guide line keep up it Thanks for Sharing
Have a nice week Ahead,

Reply
    Adeel Sami - May 8, 2015

    Hello Bilal,

    First of all, I welcome you over my place and thank you for putting an appreciating feedback, it means a lot to me!

    This is something we too often get addicted to, right? 🙂 Emails are good but not every time when you’re busy in doing the important tasks and just a beep of email’s arrival just kills all of it.

    For me, that one email was a savior which I received from Sue and fortunately it linked me up with Tor, the one excellent guy in time management world. 🙂

    Thank you and I see you often!

    ~ Adeel

    Reply

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