An example. Every morning I get into my office, clear out my tickler file and check my calendar. I now have a picture of my day (e.g., today, I have an hour and then I'm off to a meeting all morning but the afternoon is free in the office). Then I review my two @work next action lists which have items from most of my 43 work projects plus a lot of non-project actions. This is to remind me of what is already on my plate and sometimes something jumps off that needs immediate action.
Only then do I switch to my email.
Thanks for the reminder of that simple "order of things..." I'm still seduced by my email in box siren, so I will, from now on, check my lists FIRST, email SECOND! That will be my new mantra (along with "All my power resides in this now moment")! It makes perfect sense, as what you're doing is giving yourself data which aids in the processing of the incoming emails...!