I recently read a book called Daily Rituals: How Artists Work. The book details the daily routines of the most successful authors, screenwriters, and painters of all time. One of the recurring themes for most of the artists in the book was that they did their most productive work before noon. Some of them would write 3,000 words before lunchtime, then they would spend the rest of the day relaxing, exercising, or gallivanting out on the town.
Yet most engineers I know today spend the mornings checking e-mail, making phone calls, or participating in unproductive meetings. I understand, because this is what I did as an engineer. Now, I am not trying to compare engineers to writers—the workplace settings are certainly different—but my goal in this post is to give you a strategy to be more productive in the morning and subsequently overall in your approach.