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I have developed a very bad routine of checking my emails, twitter and few other websites after waking up in the morning. Generally, i wake up at 8 AM and start with my important things very late, i.e. at 12.

I want to change all this and start with a better routine.

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6 Answers 6

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Much along the same lines as the fitness trick of going for a 5 minute jog (where once you're out there, you end up doing a lot more), do the same with work. The night before plan an easy, enjoyable task related to work to start with. The sense of quick accomplishment can be alluring. You may find it's simply from being anxious, bored or overwhelmed that keeps you starting until you run out of more pleasant things to do.

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Sounds like you wake up but you aren't ready to face the day, so you do easy tasks like checking email, twitter, facebook, etc. The root of this is simply procrastination. You know you need to work, but you feel like you can kill some time before getting to it.

One way to stop this would be to write down on paper a list of important things you want to get done the next day. Leave the piece of paper on your keyboard and go to bed. When you wake up in the morning, it will be a good reminder of what you need to do. Combine that with GMCz's coffee-maker solution for ... PROFIT!!

An alternative to this would be to schedule your day with a calendar service like Google Calendar. Section off the morning into blocks where you will focus on various important things. Make checking your Google Calendar either #1 or #2 (behind checking email) in the morning.

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I used to have that problem and found a few tricks to help:

  1. Do as much as you can before bed to smooth the morning routine, e.g. load up the coffee maker, lay out your clothes, pack your work/school bag, etc. The less you have to think first thing and the more you can autopilot, the better.
  2. Keep your phone/table/computer in a location that is moderately inconvenient. I make a point of putting my phone in the basement to charge to keep me from reaching for it first thing. Laptop is closed up in my briefcase, etc.
  3. The when I leave work the previous day, I decide then, barring an unforeseen crisis, what the first thing I will tackle upon arriving at the office the next day, not email, not phone calls, but some substantive work to get myself in a good mindset for the day.
  4. And when you inevitably mess up, don't beat yourself up and consider the whole day a lost cause.

Good luck.

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very bad routine of checking my emails, twitter and few other websites

1) turn off all that stuff (don't play with filters/extensions/etc, it's not worth it), just turn it off. If you can live without twitter - block it forever (I had to uninstall ICQ a few years ago); you can get it back when you get rid of this obsession. Turn on your email client 3 times a day (15 min. time limit)

2) try to pair up with someone - it's much easier to stay focused when you work together

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Get up earlier. Yeah, it's hard to start but you can make two simple changes to make it easier: 1) If you like coffee, set up the coffee maker the night before and wake up to a nice hot cup of coffee. 2) Go to bed earlier. Really, this will make a huge change in your productivity in the morning. Here's a study which has some hard data to back up getting up earlier.

Then, have a morning routine that takes care of all the necessary things, and has a budgeted amount of time for something fun. Get up, grab your coffee, meditate, pray, read a book, whatever, then have a shower etc. make breakfast and get dressed. Having a routine will help you move with purpose through the early part of the day and then when you're ready to work you'll know you've taken care of whatever you needed to and you already got a bit of you-time.

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Of course I am not sure how you check email, twitter, etc. but you may consider some of these things.

Less motivate and more about lessening the noise...

. If email is making its way to your smartphone and/or email client and grabbing your attention, filter it to folders, don't allow it to reach your Inbox except for the most critical. Depending on your phone (if any) and your mail provider, filtering it to a folder other than Inbox will keep it from alerting your, capturing your attention.

. Do away with links/bookmarks to twitter and other websites. Type urls in the web browser address box manually. This isn't going to stop you from typing twitter.com but it does help me think just a bit about where I am spending my time.

. Do away with "start pages" in your web browser. Have it start on a blank page.

. Sleep/shutdown your computer regularly. If "important things" don't involve the computer then you may be less likely to go twittering if all it takes is a shake of the mouse to wake the screen.

Good luck.

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1  
On the same line, I suggest you a browser extension which delays the loading of those websites (such as chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/counter/… on chrome or taylor.fausak.me/2012/09/04/delay-safari-extension on safari). –  laika Nov 25 '12 at 14:18
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Or use software to set a limit on time spent emailing. You are likely to be distracted by wondering if "something important happened" if you don't check your email for 5 minutes first thing in the am. –  Jeanne Boyarsky Nov 25 '12 at 17:00

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