Culprit: Email Overload
There’s something about an email — it shoots into your inbox and itches to be answered immediately. Although many emails are work-related, they still count as distractions from your current project. You won’t make much progress if you constantly stop what you’re doing to reply to every message.
Fortunately (for all of us), eMail is not as insistent as a ringing phone, we can just turn it off. I had a 20-something co-worker tell me one morning that she did not get any sleep last night, because she kept getting text messages. We can turn that off too. I hope I never get that out of control.
Email Overload Fix
Instead of checking email continuously, set aside specific times for that purpose. During the rest of the day, you can actually shut down your email program. This allows you to carve out blocks of time when you can work uninterrupted.
For example, what I do is check eMail only toward near mid morning (1) (10-11 somewhere, for 15-20 minutes) and again toward mid afternoon (2) (3-4 somewhere, for 15-20 minutes). Doing it this way, I handle MY priority for several hours, before I am aware of someone in my work related world who needs something from me today (1). Then toward the end of the day, I may learn who needs something from me in the morning, or maybe not (2).
Also I filter OUT any non work related eMail during both sessions (1) and (2). This does not ALWAYS work, but I try. I make exception for my immediate boss, and my wife (not the same, usually).