You’re at work and you’ve got your To Do list. It’s prioritized with the most important tasks at the top of the list and you’re just about ready to jump in and Get Stuff Done. But the first task is something you’re not really fond of doing. So, you decide it would be a good idea to check email just to make certain something more important hasn’t come in that would take precedence over the unpleasant #1 task already on your list.
And there it is.
You’re not checking email because you need to — you’re checking email because it’s a “legal” way of putting off doing things you know you should be doing. You know how I know this? Because I’ve done it, too.
Sure, e-mail can be intrusive but just as often you manufacture the intrusion as a procrastination technique. It’s something to note about yourself and make some adjustments if you see yourself falling into that trap. In this case, awareness — and calling yourself out on it — is often enough to stop doing it.