I came in this morning with two big tasks: to finish writing an exam for a student to take early (because they have three exams on the regular day, and thus have a right to request one early), and to finish (and record) a set of papers. I started out with about four hours to do that, and it was perfectly reasonable.
Meanwhile, the department was also having a lunch potluck (I made and brought cookies) from 11:30-1:30.
Then I wasted some time getting a slow start. No problem, still plenty of time.
Then a colleague came by and wanted to talk, and that turned into an hour or more. It was important, but not expected.
No problem, still enough time if I'm careful. I finished writing the exam, and started in on the leftover papers (most of which I graded over the weekend).
Then a student came for an appointment to talk about the final later in the week, and that took over 45 minutes. The problem was that they hadn't reread or really thought about the essay questions for the final (questions they've had since last Monday), and so they weren't really ready to go to town on the brainstorming. Still, in that 45+ minutes, I think I helped them a whole lot to prepare.
Then I took my cookies in to the set up room, with just about an hour to go. I went back to the office, closed my door, and restarted grading. And within just under an hour, I'd finished the grading and recorded the grades.
I went to get a bite of the lunch food, leaving a note on the door so the student coming for the early exam could find me, and before I'd even had a chance to put food on my plate, the student showed up early. Fortunately, she let me get some food, so I did, and then got her started on her exam a few minutes later.
Then I went to turn back the papers (there's a "final" that I have to be at, but I don't have to give a final or take attendance), and picked up the next stack from this class.
I have to say, I think I just graded the single strongest stack of papers I've ever graded. Holy cow, over half were As, and I'm not known as a super easy grader. They just really, really put in the work on these projects! I hope the next set is also pretty good!
And now: I need to write the regular exam for that class, and an exam for another class. And if I do that before I go home, and make copies, I don't have to come back until Thursday! (Between now and Thursday, I have a big stack of upper level course papers.)