How do you break up your day?

I am having a pretty interesting time at work right now. We have a number of projects that we are working hard to get finished, but things keep coming up that cause them to stall. And, you know how it goes, once one project slips, it pushes the next project, and the dominoes start falling after that. All of this leads to stress, which doesn't help my focus one bit.

Mondays mornings are always pretty busy with catching up on emails from everybody who wants a status update. I wake up, get to the desk and start firing off questions to some people, answers to others. Then a call scheduled for mid morning happens, and before I know it, it's afternoon. Maybe another call, then some more emails and, would you look at that, it's time for dinner.

I find that when things get really busy, or if projects are running behind, I tend to bounce around and can never focus for too long on any one task. Today, for example, I realized that I had four email windows open with partially written emails. None needed more than a sentence or two to be completed. But when I started each, something stopped me and I moved on to something else.

This afternoon, when things were feeling extra hectic, I joked that I was going to go for a drive. I didn't, and instead stayed and worked on a couple things. But I think that a 45 minute drive, followed up by a nice cold beer, would have helped to reset my brain and let me get way more done.

I know that Chris Lema takes a nap each day, which sounds great, but I am not sure that would work for me. So I wonder, what do the rest of you do in order to break up your day when you need some time away from the desk to reset?