One of the time management tips I’ve seen many times is to not check your email first thing in the morning.
I’m not a time management expert by any means. In fact, I could definitely do a much better job of time management.
However, it seems counter productive to me to avoid checking my email for an hour or two after I start my work day.
Along with my voiceover clients around the US and Canada, I have clients in Asia and Europe. By the time I start my day (and I start pretty early), the day is over for my Asian clients, and it’s well into the afternoon for my European clients. Waiting a few more hours to get to my email doesn’t help my clients and it doesn’t help me.
How can you plan?
One of the first things I do each day is to take some time for planning out the day. My planning naturally includes what voiceover projects I need to record. If one of my non-US clients has sent me a project while I was sleeping, and I don’t check my email, I won’t include it in my plan for the day.
If I wait a couple of hours to check my email and then find a project waiting, it’ll throw off my plan for the day. That just adds more stress as I try to rearrange my day.
Most days, it takes me less than five minutes first thing in the morning to check my email. I skim down my Inbox checking to see if there are emails from clients. I read those first and respond if I need to. Then I double back and quickly review the remaining emails.
Keep it lean
I’ve unsubscribed from a lot of newsletter-type emails because I wasn’t seeing value in most of them. I unsubscribe from most marketing emails the first time they show up in my Inbox. By keeping my Inbox pretty lean, I’m able to quickly go through and clean things out.
One email management tip I do agree with is not checking my email constantly. I don’t have any alerts sent to my phone or my desktop so I’m not prompted to check email until I’m ready. Once I’ve checked it first thing in the morning, I can move on to other work. Then through the day, I’ll do a quick check every hour or two.
Checking email first thing in morning isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact for me, it’s much more productive than waiting until later. Plus I think it’s give me the opportunity to provide better service to my clients.