I have recently made a decision to spend my first 30 mins or so each day without opening my e-mail. Many have said the same thing for a long time, but I have finally tried it. Rather than be distracted by what “they” want, I think about what I want and need out of the day (and a bit of the next few days). It makes me much more productive. The past month has been great for me.
But miss a day or two and I feel out of sorts; being reactive rather than proactive. So as Chet Holmes said, pig-headed determination is the only way to make it stick.