It was suggested in the comments to another post of mine that I run a "tight ship" when it comes to my gaming sessions given how much we accomplish each week, but the reality is quite different. As I explained, most of our gaming sessions run about six hours, of which no more than half of that time is spent sitting at my dining room table and rolling dice.
There are many reasons for this, but chief among them is that our gaming sessions are an adjunct to friendly get-togethers. Because we're all adults with other distractions and responsibilities, our Sunday afternoon meetings are our only occasions to see one another face to face. Consequently, a goodly portion of our time is spent simply talking, whether it be about our mundane activities or our gaming-related ones. Likewise, we generally start play after dinner, which I make while I talking with my friends about this or that. It's a long-standing ritual going back many years and I can't imagine a more "business-like" arrangement where my friends arrive and we simply start gaming right away. That would feel wrong to me.
But that's because, especially as an adult, I see gaming a social occasion, a time to indulge in some much-needed conviviality with dear friends. Even once we're playing, our sessions are broken up with digressions, interruptions, and other "frame-breaking" events that we simply accept as part of the way we game nowadays. Looking back on my experiences as a younger person, this isn't really much of a change from the way we used to game in the early days. The main difference is that we usually got together for much longer stretches of time and we generally didn't make our own food. We often did have lunch or dinner together before we gamed. Such gatherings often involved my friend's older brother and/or father playing with us, so they were especially well liked and remain powerful memories of the best that this hobby offers.
So, in truth, my sessions tend to be rather rambling and unfocused, because we treat gaming as but one part, albeit an important one, of a larger social occasion. I suspect the reason why it seems we accomplish so much is that we're all of a like mind when it comes to the campaign and what we want out of it. Consequently, the exploration of the dungeon is done fairly efficiently, with a designated leader and cartographer both setting the pace for how things proceed. Likewise, we're all very experienced roleplayers, so we quite easily fall into extended in-game conversations without the need for much prompting, which helps move along most sessions as well. In short, we've all been gaming for nearly three decades and that makes it possible to get a lot done despite the distractions of its also being our only occasion to see one another each week.
Of course, none of us would want to give up those distractions; they're half the reason why we get together at all.