Here's a common situation I find myself in: it's 1:30pm and I have a commitment at 2pm. I'd like to spend the next 30 minutes working, but all of the tasks I need to complete will take much more than 30 minutes to complete. I think to myself: "By the time I get set up to do this task (context switching etc), it will be basically time for my 2pm meeting, so I'll have mostly wasted the last 30 minutes."
My primary fix for this is reserving contiguous blocks in my schedule for deep work. However, I do not always have control over my schedule.
What are tips for effectively using short (<30min) blocks of time?
(Feel free to redefine "short" if you perceive "short" in a different way.)