The computer provided to me to do my work on is mostly a workstation that accesses a virtual machine hosted elsewhere. Occassionally, about once or twice a month, there are software updates that requires an external system to log onto my environment. During this time I get a warning on my log-on screen that under no circumstances should I attempt to log in myself until prompted. This can take anywhere from 5 to over 40 minutes; you never know in advance. If it takes longer than 10, I am expected to log this under Technical Overhead.
My main issue is that this means that a couple of times a month I am basically sitting at my computer waiting until I can work again. A couple of times I have tried to do my secondary tasks (that take me away from my workstation and have only about 10% of the production:time value) and returned to find the update to already be done.
It is at the moment a balancing act of staying at my workstation and doing nothing so I can start again the moment my resources become available, or spend the time doing less so but still valued work at the risk of missing time I could do my main tasks.
What is the ideal way to handle this sort of balancing situation?