Here are the daily best practices that I have found that have helped me the most.
1. Identify Your Big Three. At the beginning of the day, identify the three most important things you need to accomplish if today is to be a success. Make these the first (and if necessary) only things you accomplish today.
2. Big rocks first. Whatever is most important, do that first. Never start with small stuff, because it is guaranteed to become bigger than you intended.
3. Do the hardest thinking first. Use your freshest brain for the hardest work. Thinking, problem-solving, and strategic visioning are best done in the first half of the day.
4. Cluster. As you put items in your calendar, cluster things that go together. Strategic thinking, phone calls, emails, etc.
5. Don't take unscheduled calls. Unless you have a lot of free time, let unscheduled calls go to voicemail. If it is important, they will leave a message and you can retrieve it soon thereafter.
5. Do emails last. I use the last 30 to 60 minutes of my day for emails. I scan them once in the morning and once in the early afternoon to see if there are any burning fires that must be addressed. But I don't get sucked into email-jail until the very last part of the day. This also keeps you from having small email discussions that eat into your productivity.
7. Use water. I am amazed by how often water is a creative catalyst. Shaving and showering are when most of my creative ideas come.