Here is how my time was spent this week, a typical light week. It was light in the sense that on each day, besides tending to that day's tasks, I had some "remaining time" that could be spent working by myself on longer-term projects. The longer-term project that was my focus this week was the preparation of a journal submission.
Monday: Attended ITCS in Boston. 4 hours of transportation, 4 hours of attending talks, 2 hours of chatting with colleagues in the hallways (on topics similar to the ones discussed on TCS blogs). Started to prepare a scientific blog post (still pending).
Tuesday: Sent some recommendation letters - the most urgent matter on my to-do list. Had a hiring-related email conversation. Met with a colleague to discuss what ideas to convey at an upcoming conference talk. Remaining time was spent proofreading a paper about to be submitted to a journal. Also attended a Skype/google chat/phone meeting to discuss another paper to be submitted to a journal.
Wednesday: Did two important items of my to-do list, involving photocopying, scanning and faxing. Cleaned up a little bit of my overflowing email box. Met a student over lunch. Remaining time was spent editing a subsection of the paper to be submitted to a journal.
Thursday: Attended a faculty meeting about hiring. Met with head TA to prepare course for this coming semester. Remaining time was spent continuing to edit the subsection of the paper in preparation, as well as the next section.
Friday: Did three items on my to-do list, involving emails and phone calls, related to hiring and to teaching. Met with a graduate student to read a research paper together. Missed a deadline for turning in a report, not by oversight but by a conscious decision (I put it on my to-do list for Tuesday): instead, remaining time was spent continuing to edit the section of the paper in preparation. At the end of the day, when it was about finished, I started thinking that maybe it should be written in a completely different way, and that I should re-write those two sections from scratch.