this is too good

...not to share everywhere i can. sid savara shares seven reasons why you should never check email first thing in the morning. balance is something that most, if not all, (digital) photographers have great trouble with, especially when it comes to too much time spent on the computer. i think about all the time i spend on the computer -- checking email, editing, blogging, updating, twittering, facebooking, pinteresting, flickering (just to name a few). we talk about all kinds of ideas on how plan to limit our computer time, but it's like crack or something...we're just drawn in and once you're in, you need more. but i'm going to work really hard to start here --and not getting on my computer first thing in the morning. i'm thinking if i'm up at 6:30 (getting the kids off to school), i should give myself until at least 9:30 AM (an hour after i drop kiele off to school) before i touch my computer.

i summarized mr savara's seven steps below...

1. ignorance is bliss...fully productive. when you get up, work on something important first, for 30-45 minutes. you don't know what needs to be addressed, what fires need to be put out, what your best friend has to share, etc. i

2. it's not YOUR to-do list. do what's the most important thing for you to work on instead of being tasked by other people via your email. remember who is in charge of your time -- focus your time and energy on what YOU really would like to work on.

3. it's an excuse to lack direction. if you're checking email (first thing in the morning or often), it's because you haven't decided what your high priorities are and focused on them. when you don't have a clear list of priorities, checking email becomes an urgent one, often at the expense of the important ones.

4. reaction vs. 'proaction'. what is the chance that you checked your email at the exact right moment to address that super important email that just came through? checking email often forces you to react as items come in regardless of their true priority. instead, take proactive actions and work on the things that are important to you.

5. searching for excuses. don't check your email if you're looking for a way to get out of the task at hand -- acknowledge what needs to get done and do it.

6. there's no set time limit. checking email really only takes a minute - but you can get sucked into follow-up activities that result from checking email. don't let email suck you in and cause you to devote more time than you can afford; set productive hours.

7. it builds expectations. how many people say "but i have to check my email; people expect my to reply right away." that's a bunch of bullshit (he didn't really say that, i did). if people do expect a response from you right away, it's because you've created that expectation.

how many of us waste time online, while we should be working on our to-do list? i know i'm so guilty. some days i'm better than others. for a while, i kept my written to-do list up-to-date and plugged away at it. every day, i circled my high priority items and got them done. i need to get back to doing that.

you can read mr sivara's full article here. i now have his site bookmarked. hoping to be inspired by more of his articles. thanks for the little kick in the ass tara and getting me refocused again.  i'm going to work hard at finding a better balance -- and focus on the things that are truly important!!