Step one: the pomodoro technique
Coined by developer, entrepreneur and author Francesco Cirillo in the early '90s, the Pomodoro Technique is the simple method of breaking down any large task into short, timed intervals ‑ or "Pomodoros" ‑ spaced out by short breaks. Write down a task, focus on it for 25 minutes without interruption, then take a break for five minutes. Only then can you check emails, return phone calls, boil the kettle ‑ never during the Pomodoro itself. This takes the pressure off by breaking down projects into manageable chunks and allows you to concentrate without distractions.
Step two: control your environment
Time to turn off email alerts, put your phone in Do Not Disturb mode, and change your Out-of-Office response to say you're swamped with deadlines/meetings and will respond to emails tomorrow. Another handy cheat is to block out time on your calendar to devote to a particular task or project, so your colleagues know what you’re working on ‑ and not to disturb you!
Step three: there's an app for that
RescueTime gives you a picture of your daily computer habits and calculates exactly how much time you spend working versus time spent browsing social media and other non-work related tasks.
Time Tracker allows you to allocate, measure and bill for time. You can track time on the go, employees can enter timesheets from any compatible device for approval, plus you can view detailed productivity reports.
Spark saves hundreds of emails going back and forth through the use of instant messages, the ability to chat in person via video, and file sharing the same version of recent documents.
Plan is a planning interface that, as the title suggests, helps you plan your life.
Trello is an excellent column-based task-management website that lets you track projects as they move from “in progress” to “completed”.
With all of these techniques and tools at your disposal, you should have no excuse but to sit down and focus.