Writer's Resource Center (http://www.poewar.com/) about how to structure your work habits. The piece talks like someone is reporting to an office and doesn't really talk about freelance writers, but it applies.
Basically, do what's most important in the first hour of your day.
What's the first thing you do when you fire up the old PC or Mac? Check email. Yep! We want to know the latest news, who needs us, when we have to schedule an obligation (or a social event), and of course, learn more about the other movers and shakers in our writing industry. We want to become educated since we shut down the day before. Once we've answered the mail, we then write. Assuming we have time.
I've tried for three days to pen a new chapter. Someone dropped in to see me. Then the short trip to the grocery store turned into a much longer trip, plus a side detour to the post office, gas station and office supply. So at two AM, I'm still trying to catch up on email, Facebook and Twitter. (Yes, I communicate through social media much like I do email.) I have a personal mandate to be in bed by three AM, so some nights the novel never comes out of hiding.
Why the heck don't I write 500-1,000 words first and foremost - immediately when I boot up? Because I have a backwards clock.
What other people might do first, I do last. Email duties are easier daytime tasks. They can be interrupted. Plus other people wander around my house...um...office. They interrupt. I get distracted. I check 50-100 emails then do a chore. I research then feed chickens. I check out new websites, Twitter friends or blogs, then go to the gym. Email is made for interruption. FundsforWriters is a thousand little tasks that can be done a few or many at a time. Nothing frustrates me more than to be in the midst of a chapter and someone ask me what I thought about the news or asks me what's for dinner.
At night, however, when people are drowsy or in bed, when the dogs are conked out, when the roosters are roosting, when the phone never rings, I write fiction. The house is silent except for my tapping fingers. It's my time with my characters. The synchronization works, and I see places, feel August sun, fight tears and build anger in my bubble of space in the dead of night as a story takes shape.
So, when is your jamming, mind-blowing, energetic creative hour? Each of us has one. You need to identify it. One hour. Tie it down. Only do your heartfelt, most important project during that sixty minutes. Nothing says you have to stop after one hour, but you'll surprise yourself at your productivity to the point I bet you go over.
Yeah, I know email is one of those instant gratifications things. It's temptation. Click, read, click, read, forward, click, save click.
But think about sitting down to that blank screen and writing, or at that manuscript and editing, whether you do it first, last or at a designated hour in the middle of the day. Set a timer. Turn it over or hit the button. Then write, telling the rest of the world you are off limits for 60 little minutes.