Do you check your email first thing in the morning? Be honest! I confess to checking my email at least 2d or 3d thing, both at work and at home.
academic coach provides 5 tips on how to be more productive by spending less (but more concentrated) time with your email.
Starting the day with email is no good, says coach. Start by spending 30 minutes with your major work (she's coaching academics, so she suggests either your research or your dissertation, but this could easily be modified). Other suggestions include turning off the "You've Got Mail!" alerts (which I agree is more conducive to productivity) and closing email between sessions. This sounds very scary in my busy office ... I don't know if I can pull that one off. Then again, tip #4 "Decide on a reasonable number of times per day to check your messages" might be useful.
The ensuing discussion by Coach's readers is useful, too.