How to Start Your Day off on the Wrong Foot

The alarm rings. (or baby cries)  

You are awake.

What is the first thing you do?

One of the first things I do in the morning when I wake up is check my email. (And of course, make coffee).  I LIKE checking my email. It’s fun to see who has written.  It’s also kind of a mystery, you never know what you might get! A job offer? A compliment? A funny note from your friend? But in efforts to try and tame my email addiction, last summer I shut off my email for days when I went on vacation and gathered up ways to Manage Your Email in 5 Simple Steps. I would like to reiterate why checking your email (personal, work, or both) in the morning is a bad idea, and for these reasons I am trying to kick the habit for good.

Checking your email in the morning is a surefire way to start your day off on the wrong foot.

While you are snoozing, you may encounter the following messages have landed in your inbox:

1. At least one spam message or advertisement you never signed up for – This annoys you.

2. A parent or colleague with a question or concern – This gives you a feeling of urgency.

3. A reminder of something you need to to – Enter Guilt.

4. A nice note from a friend/relative – This is good.

When you check your email right away in the morning, you are allowing outside influences to get into your head, and your day, before you’ve even had a chance to SET your intention and disposition for the day.  It’s like you are letting the emails decide. DON’T LET THE EMAIL WIN.

What are some ways you start the day off on the right foot?

Any email management tricks out there? 

Jessica Balsley

Jessica Balsley is the Founder and President at AOE. She is passionate about helping art teachers enhance their lives and careers through relevant professional development.


  • I do the same thing!  It’s so easy to check e-mail when I use my phone as an alarm clock.  Thanks for reminding me why I shouldn’t check my e-mail so early!

  • Erica

    Totally agree and I think it was Tony Robbins who says to put your shoes on first thing? This makes some sense too:) although lounging in pj’s is one of the luxuries of life!

    • It was the Fly Lady! Love her!
      Put on your shoes and shine your sink!

      • erica

        Haha Fly Lady!!! Fly Lady, Tony Robbins, two great minds! I have to look back into the Fly Lady now that I’ve started tackling every room in my house this summer!

        • I could use a fly lady refresher, too! Working from home with a baby is a new challenge in productivity, as you know well!

  • Cathy

    During the summer I make it a ‘purpose’ not to check my e-mail first thing. For me, if I check it I get ‘stuck’ at the computer for quite awhile. As a matter of fact, I checked it first thing this morning and because of that I spent more time online than I should have and missed my morning run because after being online I got ready to run, headed out the door and started getting wet!! I should have ran first then came home and did the e-mail. Oops!

    During the school year I usually have to check my e-mail first thing because then I don’t check it until the end of the school day (my personal e-mail).