Laura Vanderkam in her book I Know How She Does It: How Successful Women Make the Most of Their Time recommends building in what she calls "slack" into your schedule.
Instead of running from meeting to meeting or filling your schedule up to its max, build in some downtime. As she reminds us, our bodies are human and cannot go on indefinitely. Either we take intentional breaks or we will end up taking unintentional breaks.
She calls the unintentional breaks "getting lost in transition." These are the wasted moments when something takes you so much longer than anticipated or you end up wasting half an hour on Facebook. This is our body taking over and forcing us to slow down since we have not heeded the call of nature.
Interesting concept that made me think. We all blame ourselves on zoning out, taking too long, and/or getting lost in the new wild world of social media. But what if it's our fault, but not in the way we think? Yes, we're doing it to ourselves—by not building slack into our schedules, not because we're undisciplined.
When I had an office job, I would try and build in slack between meetings. Now that I'm working from home, I have not, nor do I take lunch breaks, and now recognize that some of my "inefficiency" is my body's forced downtime. Going forward, I'm going to be more mindful and take conscious breaks. Can't hurt and can definitely help.
How about you? Do you need to give yourself some slack?