What Email Checking Does To Your Writing

What Email Checking Does To Your Writing
Credit: backpocketcoo.com

I’m only going to read one message.

I don’t check my emails nearly as much as other people I know.

I can quit reading my emails at any time.

If you’ve said any of these phrases, then you, my friend, are an email checking addict.

It gets the best of us. You promise to start writing after seeing if you have any messages, and soon you’re tumbling down the rabbit hole of replies and forwarding.

Where did all the time you had set aside for writing go? It went to emails.


Sounds easy, but it’s not. There’s a rush in checking your email.

But why?

When you see a new message in your inbox, you feel wanted. Someone wants your attention. Someone wants your opinion. Someone wants your response.

Don’t fall for this trap.

Checking your email means that you’re giving others first dibs on your schedule. In other words, you’re giving power to those who email you by letting their requests interfere with your time.

You’re a busy person. You’ve worked hard to squeeze in twenty minutes to write. Why are you letting work questions and chain mail messages distract you?

You must make a choice. Will you spend your writing time on your writing project or on an email?

Time to close that inbox.

If you set time to write, stick to it. Turn off the wifi signal on your computer at your writing workspace. Write in public places where there is absolutely no Internet access. Write with pen and paper to take away the temptation.

Your unread messages will still be there after your writing session. Emails don’t self-destruct if they’re not opened in five minutes.

But your writing project will—if it remains neglected.

Toss aside your feelings of guilt or anxiety caused by email checking. Because once you’re immersed in a blissful, undistracted writing session, you’ll forget why emptying out your spam folder was so important twenty minutes ago.

Are you an email checking addict? Share how you break the bad habit below.

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