Pure gold from Nicholas Zakas, this paragraph is taken from this post: http://www.nczonline.net/blog/2012/06/12/the-care-and-feeding-of-software-engineers-or-why-engineers-are-grumpy/
Let ‘em code
As ironic as it may sound, a lot of companies hire software engineers and then don’t let them actually code. Instead, their days are filled with useless meetings that inhibit productivity. In general, software engineers are most productive when they can code for at least four hours straight without interruption.
It’s difficult to get into a good flow while coding if you know you have a meeting coming up in an hour or two hours, that’s always in the back of your mind while coding. It is amazingly unproductive to code for an hour, stop for an hour, code for an hour, stop for an hour, etc. You can’t get into a flow and just as you start, you have to stop. The software engineer brain has to switch into a good mode for coding in that switch takes time.
Make sure that your engineers have, every single day, at least four hours of uninterrupted time to code. That’s the key to getting work done faster. It seems fairly logical: if people usually work an eight hour day, at least half of the time should be spent on the main task. I used to find that I was most productive between 1 PM and 5 PM. I knew that if I had that time every day I could easily complete my tasks. When that time started to be interrupted by meetings, I knew I wouldn’t get as much done.
Also, take at least one day a week to have no meetings. That includes daily standups. Just let the engineers have that single day to completely manage their time on their own and get everything done. It is absolutely amazing how much can get accomplished when an entire day is free of interruptions. If necessary, allows engineers to work from home to make sure that they’re not interrupted. I actually went through a period in my career where my manager required me to work from home at least two days a week because I was getting interrupted so much in the office. The results: I got my work done very quickly.