This is Your No. 1 Productivity Killer


I was listening to Amy Porterfield’s podcast episode 102, “How to Create Content Rituals to Get More Done.”  Amy focused on sharing about how hard of a time she was having carving out the significant chunks of time she needed in order to create: blog posts, interview questions, presentations, course content. 

She pointed out something that struck a chord with me: don’t check your e-mail. During “Tiger Time,” Amy says that she doesn’t check e-mail. She doesn’t touch e-mail until 4 hours in to her work day, at 12 pm. 

Not only does she not respond, but she doesn’t CHECK.

Ideally, if you’re trying to create a cocoon of time in which you can focus on a single project, you don’t check e-mail during that time, of course. But here’s why I love the idea of not checking at the outset of your day, period:

E-mail is the number 1 de-railer of my day, and it definitely ranks above phone, social media, or texting. Why? 

Because I find that e-mails require me to take at least one action before I can respond. Maybe I have to research a fact or a question, contact someone else to get an answer, or put together a plan of action. 

But whatever it is, I often automatically let it take precedence over what I had been planning to do before I opened the email. And that completely knocks me off the track I set for myself when I started my task.

Texting usually only requires a reply (not a bunch of research). Social media is admittedly a rabbit hole but doesn’t require a constant reshuffling of work priorities.  Phone calls don’t happen much and when they do, they are largely self-contained (Dr. appointment reminders, for example.) 

E-mail is the de-railer. 

Amy’s system reminded me of another tactic to approach getting focused, intensive work completed first thing in the morning. It’s called the 90-90-1 rule. 

“For the next 90 days, devote the first 90 minutes of your work day to the one best opportunity in your life. Nothing else. Zero distractions. Just get that project done. Period.”

I used the 90-90-1 rule to create and publish my website. (It was more like 60-30-1, but it still worked.) 

If I’m wrong, e-mail me (don’t expect a response until after 12 pm though, LOL) or leave a comment!

Scroll to Top
Scroll to Top

Get Writing Tips and Encouragement
In Your Inbox