By John Arenas | September 23, 2013

Making The Most of Your Mornings

Can your early emails help or hurt your work-life balance?

In a recent list put together by, one of the daily habits of productive people is to avoid morning emails.

Many independent workers, including myself, are accustomed to checking messages as soon as they wake up—sometimes even while still in bed. However, Tumblr founder David Karp, who says he tries to avoid email completely until 10am, and Julie Morgenstern, author of the book Never Check Email in the Morning, argue that checking in early in the day is an unnecessary distraction.

While the theory is insightful, in Karp’s Inc. profile, he says: “Reading e-mails at home never feels good or productive. If something urgently needs my attention, someone will call or text me.”

Avoiding your inbox in those early, unadulterated hours may help one stay in control of his task list, but where do we draw the line?

While we agree that making email correspondence work on your own terms can be play a pivotal role in maintaining a healthy work-life balance, is starting your day with an urgent text from the CEO a little too personal?

This brings to light a tricky clause in the work-life balance, thanks to technology: Will the green light, “I’m available,” G-chat status simply replace for the corporate demand for 9-to-5 “face time?” Further, in a workplace where we set our own more flexible hours, which of those are fair game for contacting employees offline, on their cellphones?

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