I am lucky that I can open a document of an article or chapter at any time and do five or ten minutes of work on it. Many writers tell themselves they need at least an hour, or at least an entire day, or five hours, or a week without interruption, in order to get work done. Some writers say they need the semester to be over and have the entire summer in front of them before they are able to work. Or they know that significant work will only happen during a sabbatical. The problem, then, is that they don't bother with shorter periods of time at all. Because they have in their minds a minimum period, they will never even see if they can get lucky too. If you have a minimum like this in your mind, then re-examine it. If you need three hours, see if one hour is enough. If you need a month, try a week. If you need one hour, try twenty minutes. Just try it once as an experiment and see what happens.
Thursdays are days when I teach, advise students, respond to emails and take care of administrative issues. There are several moments during the day when I just sit there in the office for 15, 20 or 25 minutes with nothing to do. So I decided to follow this piece of advice and at least try opening my file with the document I'm writing to see if I can add anything to it in those "empty" stretches of time.
Today, I opened the file and discovered that it had magically grown by almost 650 words. This happened on a day of the week that I usually just give up on as one which is useless in terms of doing any writing. I have to confess that I had been pretty sure that this method wasn't going to work. I had convinced myself that I can only write if I have long, uninterrupted stretches of time ahead of me. It turns out that I was fooling myself.
All I can say at this point is a surprised and delighted "Hmm . . ." Let's see if the method continues working for me.