I now know why academics love having meetings every fifteen seconds, why they spend so much time on committees, service-related activities well in excess of what is required of them, sending out needless emails, discussing every tiny little issue for hours, etc. The reason is that they want to avoid doing research.
I'm not saying I'm any different, mind you. I have the same problem. And don't get me wrong, I love doing research. The problem is that everything else I do (preparing for classes, creating fun activities for students, organizing my paperwork, creating new syllabi, going over my tenure portfolio, reading, taking part in committees, etc.) is so much easier. It just is. Three hours of research leave you more exhausted than 8 hours of any other academic activity. Research is hard. It's also fraught with emotional pain. I often drag out work on an article because I'm afraid of the moment where I will have to send it out and prepare myself that rejection can befall me at any moment.
This is why there is always a reason why one can't do research right now. But I just thought of a great way of really advancing one's research. Do you know how when we are scheduled to teach, those hours are marked off on our calendars as the time slots where we are completely unavailable to the world? Something similar needs to be done with research. I teach 7,5 hours per week and in those hours I can't do anything other than teach. So let's say I dedicate 10 hours per week to uninterrupted research and refuse to make myself available to anything or anybody. Just like I do with teaching. Imagine how much I'll be able to publish.
I'm terrified of becoming one of those failed scholars who only produced enough research to get by the tenure committee. So now I will be trying out this new strategy. I will keep you informed about whether it works. But I feel like there is something really valuable in this strategy I just devised.