I really do need long, unbroken hours to work on coding. Little distractions break my concentration and flush me out into side trips, emails, ticket-tracking, that kind of thing. When I'm in the zone I'll churn away for a few solid hours and get all sorts of things finished. When I'm pulled out every once in a while I never get into that deep, zen-like trance where the code just flows and I'm merely a conduit for it to shape itself to the needs at hand. Without that it's all pulling teeth and gnashing them, little fits and starts, little advances that never seem to go anywhere.
Had another couple of reminders today that I need to get some work done on the various Open Source projects I've left in limbo as I spend my "spare" time on the OLPC (and weddings, and new apartments, and house guests). SimpleParse and PyOpenGL both need a few day's love. It would be so much easier if I used them in work projects, but alas my contracts these days are for billing, provisioning, and insurance systems, not the kind of thing that screams out for 3D graphics, really.
Anyway, distraction over, I think I'll try to get back into the zone for another hour and a half before I have to go run errands again.