MHO – Time overscheduling and gaps

Some of my work does not take as long as I have scheduled and I’ll end up with 5 or 10 minutes of “free time.” I am wondering how best to use this time and not get my brain all wound up with unscheduled activities?

Right now, I often go to email or voicemail and see what’s there, resulting in new tasks identified that are not on my calendar and they muddy up my brain for the next activity. Should I look at email/voicemail only in the scheduled overflow times (currently first of the day and end of the day)?

Also, I have some minor tasks I could do in that 5 or 10 minutes but since I had to put everything on my calendar and throw away my list, I don’t remember what those things are.

I guess the question here is how can I manage my “to do” items that I would like to do if I get some “extra time” but still calendar them to ensure they get done? Am I over complicating things?