Those rare productive spells are enabled (for me at least) by periods of varying duration in which I do not write (oh, and obv. getting tf out of town helps too, apparently). Weekends are good examples. As a rule, during the weekend I don't much think about my chapters except for lining up the book or article that I'll need to peek into next, and except for keeping the to-do list (modeled after caraf).
But then there's always the problem of what to do with the long holiday weekends that bookend the summer. Should I treat tomorrow like any other Monday and return to writing? Or should I remove most of the garden and finally dig up the peony that is taking over the back yard?
Given the weather forecast, the back yard and garden will win out. One of the sentences of Burke's I've been writing around is "the cure for an idea is digging in the dirt," so I'm on my way to Lowe's for a wheelbarrow and some gloves, to complete another to-do list.