I’ve been following the Freelance Switch blog, which is full of tips for independent contractors in writing, photography, design, and programming.
This post on Creating a Morning Writing Ritual resonated with me. (Even a dyed-in-the-wool night person has to start the workday somewhere.) One of the points the writer makes is that if you focus and get a good chunk of writing done right at the beginning of your workday, you can take time off to relax later on. I like to reward myself mid-afternoon with some gardening.
The post also suggests that you jump directly into writing without first checking email; my version of this has been to set a timer, to spend 15 minutes checking email and flagging certain messages for later attention, then to move on to the writing tasks.