Today felt extremely productive, but most of the work was the kind that’s both important and difficult to communicate until people see the side effects of not having done it.
These are the tasks that always get bumped because “It hasn’t been a problem yet,” or “We have to have feature x for client y.”
I know of two solutions; maybe you know others. You can either spend more time educating stakeholders, or pad estimates of other tasks with enough time for the under-the-hood work. Given how notorious we are with software estimates, I’d try the first option.