I used to schedule my time using the same template for most days. My standard formula was: two hours of writing, two hours of research, two hours of teaching, and two hours for emails, admin, and service.
As my number of responsibilities started to increase, I started to use my color-coded system with blocks of time to dedicate to working on tasks in different categories as well as to reply to emails from these blocks of time. The categories I had became more than before: ACI Avances, Adeline & Personal, Admin, Blog, Contacts & meetings, Research, Service, Teaching & students, and Writing. I used to put blocks of time during the week to address all of these topics during the week.
By now, and since this summer, I’ve decided to batch things better. Tuesdays and Thursdays are for research and writing, and all my focused work. The rest goes in time slots on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
In other words, from my categories, I now put ACI Avances, Adeline & Personal, Admin, Contacts & meetings, Service, and Teaching & students on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I have limited time for research and writing on those days, and will take back-to-back calls and meetings as necessary. Then, I have my Tuesdays and Thursdays free for reading, writing, and doing research. Blog-related tasks go on Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday.
The advantage of this approach is that I can really focus on my research days. I don’t have to be watching the clock anymore to make it to a meeting. I don’t have to be looking at my mailbox. I can go off for a meandering walk and think freely. Using this approach has helped me increase the amount of time I can spent on writing, and the number of papers I’ve been able to wrap up recently. I think it’s a good approach for me, at this stage in life and my career.
Ideally, I’d want to add in another day to just focus on research and writing. But for now, unfortunately, that wouldn’t be possible, as my teaching, service, and admin tasks are quite some. At least I have two days a week to do what I’m actually supposedly paid to do: think and write. And I’ll cherish that time as I can free it up as much as possible!