As I have stated in prior blogs, e-mail should never be the first thing you do in the morning. Even when you diligently follow this rule and recognize the benefits are worthwhile, you can still get stuck.
Each day, all day long, we complete micro tasks that involve making a decision. More tasks equals more stress. When your day involves macro tasks, stress elevates. The tasks on your to-do list are no longer on the same level. For example, one day I had 1 task that would take 90 minutes, a handful that would take 30 minutes and several that would take 10 minutes or less. The 90-minute task required full attention and was intellectually challenging. A few of the 10-minute tasks were also intellectually challenging. Sprinkled in were follow-up calls and basic document drafting.