Here’s a tip I learned years ago from Michael Masterson’s book The Pledge, which I read again this week.  (I do not recommend this book for kids, or teenagers, by the way.)

Check your email last.

I understand not everyone can do this. Some jobs will not allow it.

Still, if at all possible, check your email last.

Email, Facebook, Instagram… They are all distractions. 

Focus on your goals first. Move the needle on your most important projects before you begin responding to other peoples emergencies.

For example I have about 30 routine tasks on my own daily checklists. Email comes in somewhere around 25 on the list.

I know myself well enough to know that I am distractible.

If I start responding to other peoples emails, I run the risk of ignoring my own goals.

However, if I wait until I have finished my tasks and then I am happy to dedicate time to responding to emails. 

I know that my most important work for the day is done.

It’s a simple tip.  But, it works.  It makes a huge difference.