When I want to get something difficult done, I always do one thing first:
I turn on “do not disturb” mode on my phone and on my computer.
That means I won’t receive any notifications while I’m working. New emails, messages, event reminders—I’ll see them all when I next take a break.
There is nothing revolutionary about this. But be honest: do you turn off your notifications before you start working? Even if you do, do you still check your phone periodically? (I do—and I am trying my best to stop myself.)
If you face resistance to disabling notifications even temporarily, you can create an exception for urgent notifications. For example, while I’m working, I still allow phone calls from certain people to go through.
Enabling “do not disturb” mode won’t remove all interruptions. If you constantly have coworkers who try to talk to you, for example, that will kill your focus too. But if you want to get hard work done, then the fewer interruptions, the better.
Turning on “do not disturb” mode every time you sit down to work only takes 30 seconds. There’s no excuse not to.