A very useful time-management “trick” I learned while working at Cisco (after facing many long days in which all I did was participate in other people’s meetings back-to-back from 8am to 6pm) is to formally schedule meetings with yourself using Outlook or any scheduling tool.
No more than an hour or two long, but give each meeting a real topic or action item.
In addition to making your calendar full so others can’t automatically add you to their meetings (you get phone calls, I’d like you to join us for a meeting about X but your calendar says you don’t have any free time in the next few weeks….) creating events to accomplish specific activities formalizes them, even for yourself, and the computerized reminders help keep you back on track.
Sounds simple. I’m starting today.