Are you doing urgent work or important work?
It is very easy to be busy without having to actually produce something. Every time a task gets difficult, we can always retreat back to email. The elephant brain can always find excuses to not do the important work. Consequently, important work then becomes urgent and important and the panic attacks begin..
Work that requires deliberate practice is unpleasant and painful. It is like waking up at 6 am and exercising everyday. But just like the muscles start craving the pain and get addicted to being fit, the mind will start craving skill-building activities.
What important work have you put off today because of urgent demands on your time? The only way to do both urgent and important work is to eliminate on non-value adding urgent activities/time wasting, non urgent and non important activities.
Easier said than done!