I like Morgenstern’s advice. I try to follow her advice. I avoid Facebook and e-mail before 12 noon.
I fail. I fail almost everyday. Morgenstern’s argument that e-mail is a time suck or that it creates a “frenetic cadence to the workday” have never motivated me to actually succeed with regularity. She describes our relationship with e-mail in terms of it being an e-diction (my word).
What is missing in Morgenstern’s efficiency strategy is a hard, cold stare at why I use e-mail and Facebook. Here are some possibilities. Email and Facebook provide contact with real people. It is easier to feel a sense of completion. Each time I check in, I stand at my very own water cooler. I am not alone. I might even laugh.
Instead of saying Never Check Email in the Morning, I am going to say to myself ” Can you stand to be alone for awhile?” Can you keep the faith that the world will be OK without you for awhile? Will you turn off that bell on your computer that alerts you to the arrival of another e-mail?
As I read further into Never Check Email In the Morning, Morgenstern lets up on her expectations and narrows the morning down to one hour. Can we wait one hour to check our email? We can try andl we’d better own up to the emotional needs and crutches that feed our constant checking as well.
Many of us do not have control over our mornings. Some of us have supervisors and colleagues who are standing by. I wonder if there is a way to help a supervisor understand that we will be more efficient and powerful if we wait until 12:01 PM to respond.