So my best job that I had before I was published was when I was an executive assistant to a man that was dying in the hospital. So I had absolutely nothing to do but sit in an office, and occasionally the phone would ring from increasingly distant business acquaintances, and I would have to explain to them in muted tones that he was sick and not likely to come back to the office at all. But the rest of the time I worked on my novel. And I actually think the kind of aura of doom that hung over it was very helpful to me as a beginning novelist as well. So I guess I could suggest: Try to work for someone who’s dying. You get a lot of time.
Honestly, you should just go read the whole thing. (Says the man who plans to both read "Who Could That Be at This Hour?" and re-read The Basic Eight on his upcoming vacation.)