People are always trying to squeeze more productivity out of an increasingly fragmented day. I find for me one of the best tools for this is Rescue Time. It’s an application that tracks how you spend time on your computer, and based on information you provide it, can give you ongoing productivity scores. I find it really helpful for keeping me on task. You can restrict the information it has access to (so for example, I would have it record that I was using Outlook, but not the title of my Outlook windows).
It’s great for discovering just how much time is really spent on communication and scheduling. As demands on one’s time increase, managing those becomes yet another demand on time. Timeboxing email and scheduling has really helped me to reduce some of that timesink.
I also found it really interesting in that I always thought my most productive time was the morning, but I fairly reliably am actually more productive in the afternoons. I’ve been able to adjust when I book things and take better advantage of time when I’m at my best.
Give it a try if you’re interested in better tracking and managing your time!