I was going to ask a question almost exactly like this one. I know it's an important one for me, because I had a horrible feeling in my stomach when writing the subject line and I had to force myself. So, the answers to this question so far have been great for me, and thanks for asking it.
The funny thing is, that I really love it when I am productive. Nevertheless, it seems to be a fear of failure that causes me to dance away from getting started.
Today, in contrast to others, I've had an extremely productive day. Here's what I did:
Yesterday afternoon, I wrote in my daily journal what to do as soon as I arrived at work. I wrote these imperative commands to myself, plus some telling questions:
. Avoid procrastination
. Can my project be installed onsite today?
. Work on project 'b' if you're stuck, it's meaty *and* interesting
. what can you think of to do, to improve the company's projects and income?
. what projects can progress?
. what new qualifications can I attain over the Christmas period?
. Who could I speak to that I've been neglecting?
. Don't do any web browsing at all, except for work questions and google talks, until at least 4:30
. don't question yourself
. be proud of yourself, there's a lot of good there
. you may not be perfect in all areas, but you're working it through
So, when I came in this morning, I got stuck into it. The directives above stopped me from diverting off onto web browsing when I was beginning to get stuck.
I redefined the architecture for a current project, and broke it down into small tasks, and prototyped experiments to make each little bit work. Then I wrote out in a text file how to bring all the experimental prototypes together into a neat combination of code.
I think the secret is to start the day well, and then the flow starts early. In order to start the day well, I find it useful to pre-frame my tasks and attitudes the afternoon before.