One of my massive pet peeves as a web developer has always been distractions. I hate unnecessary distractions, I can't stand being kept away from work, and I loathe waiting on others to get their part done so I can get my tasks done. Alas, you can never be without distraction, especially on the internet. I've recently made an effort to eliminate as many distractions as I could -- here are a few of the ways I've done so.
Remove Desktop Notifications
The biggest distraction to me in the past has Google Notifier. Google Notifier constantly notifies me of personal GMail emails, and as a result, I'm constantly thrust into non-work stuff. Whether it be family, blog, or spam emails, I can get easily sidetracked for long periods of time, and for large chunks of time. Removing this temptation has been the single largest boost in productivity for me.
Hide Phone and iPad
It seems like every app wants permission for push notifications these days. Do 90% of them really need them? Of course not, but it's good marketing for them and their app gets a little extra attention. Unfortunately they steal my attention too. And with the number of apps on my phone, it's easier to simply hide my phone than disable and manage those permissions. I'll check my phone every few hours, but only for a few moments, and then hide it so I don't have to deal with those annoying buzzes I don't care to deal with.
Hide from Family
Working remotely is awesome but one giant distraction can be family. Of course office jobs provide the same distractions in the form of people stopping by your cube and useless meetings that last for hours, but home distractions are a bit more emotionally tied. You feel bad telling your wife that you can't watch your little munchkin for a few minutes, but those few minutes have a 10x impact in a loss focus.
It's really useful to simply leave the house sometimes, whether it be a coffee shop, another family member's house (whose members are at work), or a co-working space. A few hours of uninterrupted work is sometimes as valuable as a full day's work anywhere else!
I have a really hard time doing this, because I always want to know if there's an urgent request, but in extreme circumstances, I'll close my email client without issue. Sometimes I desperately need to focus and closing Thunderbird is my last line of defense. Imagine the amount of crap email you get...and how much you'd do to avoid the annoyance of an email notification.
What measures do you go to to avoid frustrating interruptions? Please share!