From John Quiggin on Crooked Timbers. I really liked tip 3:
(It) is particularly relevant for people prone to distraction, which obviously includes all of us here. My core business is producing academic journal articles (and the occasional book). In this business, itís easy to drift along, reading lots of interesting stuff, making notes, and imagining you are making progress, but not actually getting anywhere. So in homage to Taylor and Stakhanov, I discipline myself by setting word targets. I try to write 500 to 750 words of new material every day. 500 words a day might not sound much, but if you can manage it 5 days a week for 40 weeks a year, youíve got 100 000 words, which is enough for half a dozen journal articles and a small book. So, thatís my target. If I havenít written enough one day, I try to catch it up the next day and so on ...
(Greg Mankiw gave the same advise).
Tyler Cohen has some suggestions on Speed Reading
Another way to read quickly is to cut bait on the losers. I start ten or so books for every one I finish. I don't mind disliking a book, and I never regret having picked it up and started it. I am ruthless in my discards.
Do the most important things first in the day and don't let anybody stop you. Estimate "most important" using a zero discount rate. Don't make exceptions. The hours from 7 to 12 are your time to build for the future before the world descends on you.
(More time management tips here)