If you haven’t noticed, your email inbox is filled with everyone else’s priorities. Not a single one of your priorities can be found in your email. But for some reason, we all start our day checking email.

Then we keep our email open all day, compulsively checking it, anxiously waiting for someone to tell us what to do. That’s not enough though, so we have email alerts turned on, you know, just in case we get an email while we’re working in another program.

Stop the madness.

But seriously, why do we do this?

I know we get a hit of dopamine every time we receive an email. But honestly I’m not sure why. Ninety percent of the emails we receive aren’t exciting, or rewarding.

I’m not saying to completely abandon your email, but you need to find time in your day to work on YOUR priority list.

Do you have days where you feel like you didn’t accomplish anything? It was probably because you were stuck in your email all day.

So here’s your tip of the week:

Before you start your day, write down 2-3 priorities that you want to get done THAT DAY. Write the MOST important item FIRST. Make sure you’re specific.

Don’t write: “schedule some appointments” or “work on customer training module.”

Instead write: “set up 5 appointments with current customers to determine XYZ.” Or “complete first draft of the XYZ training module.” The more specific you are, the more progress you will make and the more fulfilled you will feel when you finish.

After the important tasks, write down everything else that should get done today. But remember, you do NOT have permission to work on these items until you finish the top priorities.

Living your life checking email is like telling your brain that you don’t know what to work on, so you need someone else to tell you what to do.

Chose how you spend your time wisely!

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Brad Telker
Vice President, Applied Systems Group at cfm Distributors, Inc.

Brad joined the cfm team in 2006, and now as the Vice President of the Applied Systems Group, he focuses on business development, as well as helping contractors and engineers find creative and unique solutions to any size HVAC project. When he’s not at work, Brad enjoys reading, running and spending time with his family.