If you have sent an email to me and not heard back it is because I'm swamped. It happens every fall so it is not new, but somehow I always feel surprised by it anyway. I've got a stack of grading to do and this weekend is already committed to paper-grading, and my schedule of appointments with students (posted on my door) is jammed... I feel "trapped" by a trap of my own making...
When I get swamped like this I usually go through several stages:
1. Work faster. I try to work my way back above water first. That always fails eventually.
2. Work slower. Then I get depressed and do nothing for a while--which makes matters worse.
3. Kill stuff. Finally I see the house burning down and I act-- I cancel engagements, do a sloppy job of giving feedback on papers, delete all the email in the in-box and just don't show up to committees.
4. Fresh start. After all that I pretend I am caught up even though I actually just buried the overload.
I'm at stage 2 today.