I set aside one hour every morning on my calendar to do the following:
- One or two chess problems
- Creative project or career development
I like to think of this hour as ‘my’ hour.
It’s very important.
Every day, during this hour, I am receiving text messages, phone calls, and emails.
Ninety percent of the time, I ignore those.
I block them out.
They must wait.
Yes, if they are true, time-sensitive emergencies, I will answer or respond.
But never, ever during this hour do I fall into the trap of responding to non-emergencies.
I do not engage with the outside world.
I do not begin responding to anything.
All of that begins when my creative hour is over, not before.
Once you begin responding to incoming, it’s very difficult to stop.
Almost never have I been able to ‘get this hour back’ later in the day.
My suggestion to you, if you have something, anything that you really want to do, is to block that time off as strongly as possible.
You can make it happen.