A tip I see often on time management websites is not to check your email at the very beginning of your work day, but instead to dive straight into your most concentration-intensive work. The reason for this is at the beginning of the day you are fresh and your brain isn’t fatigued from making millions of decisions, so you are able to focus and be most productive.
In a way I understand that email can be distracting and a huge time suck, and by the time you resurface from the email flood it’s nearly lunch time and your most productive time of the day is done. But I can also envision a scenario where you crank away for hours on your project and then finally check your emails to discover a message detailing changes to the plan. Now you have to spend hours undoing what you did and start over.
Personally, I check my emails first but don’t get involved in things that can wait until later. I reply to things that need a quick response, incorporate new tasks into my day’s plan, and make note of things that need to be followed up on later. I limit myself to 30 minutes for this, then I get on with production.
Do you check emails first thing? Or do you wait until later so you can crank through work first?