Guard your most productive time of day

I know when I'm my most productive. It's somewhere between 6:00 AM and 9:00 AM. I'm lucky actually. Few people schedule meetings during that time. (Where I work right now, few people are even awake during those times.) It would be much worse if my most productive time was right after lunch.

I call that time period my most productive because it's where I turn out the most X. For me, X could be code, words (for an article or blog post), or test ideas. I do my highest quality and most prolific work during that period of the day. It has something to do with my head being clear and the coffee just kicking in. I'm not thinking about life's pressures yet because my day just started, my email queue is empty. I just get stuff done.

If you know when you're most productive, do everything you can to protect that time. Block your calendar so people don't schedule meetings. Turn off your phone and close your email and instant messaging clients. Do what you have to keep the world at bay. Try to create at least two or three hours for yourself where you know it's your time to get stuff done. And if possible, get that window to overlap with when you're most productive.