What do I mean by the beauty of focus? To explain this I will have to give you a little back story. Whilst working for previous companies, both in short term finance and other disciplines, I found that there was little structure given to the daily process of writing software. Days quickly descend into meetings, planning sessions or just general distraction.
It should never be underestimated the amount of time that is wasted by task switching, especially for a software engineer. It takes time to find the flow. You cannot write great software without committing a decent chunk of time to the thought and execution of the process. I also think this is why developers are generally best late at night. Others may disagree but some of the best engineers I have worked with produce the best stuff after midnight.
In order to remedy this, and what I have tried to do here at My Financial Broker is to set aside a block of time during the day to find the fabled zen state of pure focus, block off time and learn to say no!
This zen state does not come easily and requires a little prep and some planning with your team. For My Financial Broker it involves getting the meetings organised into the right slots. Briefings and catch ups are best suited to the morning, discussion, planning and meetings with other parties (customers or suppliers for example) are best suited to the afternoon. Block out time from eleven to two for the core part of your job, writing software.
So what to do during this golden time? Get yourself a cuppa, and do what suits you to get into the head space to crack on with your problem solving. For me its sorting out the right track list and getting stuck in.
If you are lucky enough to be in a company where you can do this, trust me, you will be more productive as a result, so too will your colleges. Give it a go and be strict with yourself, once you are in your coding mindset let nothing (or at least as little as possible) break you away.