Trivial Living: Checking Your Email

I've heard this advice before, and today it was mentioned at Fast Company, "What Successful People Do With the First Hour of Their Day." The advice is this: Don't check your email. Wait until later in the morning.

I agree completely. But I don't always follow through. Why not?

Because of Brain Resistance. See, if I am to order my day with my own ideas (which usually involves writing and creating), then I have to break out of my thinky, detail-oriented mind and go to my artist mind. There is always resistance when you do this.

It's the same kind of resistance you feel when sitting down with a blank screen or sheet of paper to write. A part of your brain says, "No-o-o-o!"

On the other hand, if you stay in the techno-loving, habituated part of your brain, and check your email, you will definitely find distractions, and big or small things to do, and maybe a surprise or two. We creative people love distractions, things to do, and surprises.

The challenge is: am I going to let the agenda of others steer my ship today? Or am I going to follow through with my own creative agenda, which might mean:
  • Writing a poem
  • Penning a journal entry
  • Praying or meditating
  • Going for a walk
  • Making a to do list

  • It takes enormous psychic energy to be a self-starter with the Big, Creative Things. To keep churning out that novel, chapter by chapter. To journal about what really matters to me, or write down my most important goals. Huge things hang in the balance: success, failure, fulfillment, achievement.

    With all that weight, it's easier to pretend I'm busy and check my Inbox.

    Or watch TV. Or color-code my filing cabinet.

    But every day I have to make the choice to follow this inner direction.

    Will you join me me in a pact to NOT check email for at least the first hour of the day? I'll check back with you, 30 days from now.

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