In the past, because I fervently believe in Inbox Zero, I skipped on checking my inbox in the morning. I just didn't have the time. In the last few months, I've modified my morning routine to allow enough time to check emails. The question is: should you check your email in the morning?
There are a few factors that will determine if you actually need to check your email in the morning. Undoubtedly, a lot of us can go without doing so, but if you do some of your work online and it's tied to email, then you probably need to check it.
1. What kind of email do you get? If you mainly get Facebook notifications and emails from friends, then you can skip checking on your email in the morning.
2. Is your work partly online and tied to your email? If you rely on email for important notifications from work-related issues, then you should take the time to check your email in the morning.
3. Do you wake up easily? This is basically an indicator to efficiency. If it takes you longer to wake up, then you'll probably end up wasting time while you're looking over your email. Consider skipping doing this until you're fully woken up.
4. Do you use public transport? If you don't drive and use public transport in the morning, it's a golden opportunity to get things done. You can address most of your email on your smartphone or tablet while commuting to work.
5. Are you awaiting an important email? Then by all means, you should check your email. Also, if you don't want to get overwhelmed by many emails during the day, it's a safe bet to start working on them in the mornings.
Compared to my later email sessions in the day, my morning email checking routine is pretty quick. I can do it in about 10-15 minutes, while I empty my inbox. It's something that you can skip if your routine at work involves checking your email as well.
It's all a question of balance in the end. For some people, email is vital for work. One thing that you can definitely skip in the morning is checking up on social networking sites like Facebook. They rarely have urgent work-related stuff for you to accomplish before you arrive at your office.
(Image: Flickr member Voix Synthetique licensed for use under Creative Commons, Flickr member Trekkyandy licensed for use under Creative Commons)