I know I am just at the very beginning of this trip, but I would like to start walking once I have found a way to organize my time and activities (the ones related to the PhD and the ones that are not related to it).
For instance, and this is not new at all, I cannot handle my inbox: I receive a mean of 30 emails a day (on weekends) and 60 emails a day on working days. Some of them are not urgent, but long ago I decided to try and reply those non-urgent emails asap, otherwise I end up with 30 non-urgent emails to reply at the end of the day... Some of them come from journals I am subscribed to, and they require some time to go through them in order to filter which articles may be of interest for my thesis. Well, you get the picture: I'm swimming (as you may be as well) among all those emails that come to my inbox drop by drop... and they keep me from focusing on whatever it is that I'm trying to do at that moment (most of the time, reading).
Some other virtual activities keep me distracted from my PhD duties, such as Facebook, my blogs, Twitter, the headlines... And some non-virtual ones occupy my mind a huge percentage of the day, such as studying the lines for the play I'm in, or studying the lyrics for the songs I sing with my band, or trying to keep in touch with friends and family (and here I mean 'real' touch, not Facebook/Skype/telephone touch).
I thought of writing To-Do lists, but I didn't succeed...
How do you work it out? What do you do to use your time efficiently and don't get completely absorbed by absolutely everything else but your thesis?