Knowledge workers know the problem well: how to fit large blocks of creative thinking into a busy schedule? With a focus on quality and quantity output, timely response to email, etc, finding extended focused time is nearly impossible.
Enter Getting Creative Things Done: How To Fit Hard Thinking Into a Busy Schedule:
“To-do list creatives advance in their careers based on the quality of their creative output. Our logistical responsibilities, however, fight against this goal. Most to-do list creatives cannot drop everything to spend days lost in monk-like focus. But the result of instead squeezing creative work into distracted bursts, driven by deadline pressure, is mediocrity.”
A short summary of the article’s propositions:
Pick only one or two big projects that will get your attention for the week.
Block out time for these projects on your calendar, 2-3 hours apiece.
Set rules for your creative blocks. No distractions allowed.
Focus on process, not goals. Don’t strive to finish the project in a block, strive to make progress toward completion.
Treat these time blocks as immovable appointments with yourself and your project. No interruptions allowed, and focus not on finishing the task, but on process, else you will be panicked.