Start With a
Renowned productivity coach David Allen, founder of the Getting Things Done organizational method, suggests a quick two-minute "mind sweep" to help clear the chatter from your mind and prepare you to focus. All you need to do is check the clock (or set a timer), grab a notebook or open up a text doc on your computer, and write out all the thoughts filling up your mental bandwidth. You don't think about next steps while doing a Mind Sweep, you just write down your thoughts as they are—just get everything out as quickly as possible. You can always go back to it to grab items for your do to list, but often just clearing them away helps.
Work in Blocks
You can only maintain focus for so long. As you work, your alertness will inevitably drop off, increasing the lure of distractions. Set a timer and take a break at the end of each cycle. Science has shown the brain operates optimally when it toggles between focus and unfocus. Let your timer work like a mini-deadline to motivate you to finish your chosen task. Then give yourself a little time to reset your focus.
In any workplace, there are various sounds that will always prove distracting.There is the maintenance people, mail delivery, colleagues talking and phones ringing, or that mysterious sound emanating from the HVAC system. Protect yourself with headphones so you can maintain your concentration and ward off surprising sounds that will interrupt your focus. It also allows you to listen to music to spark your imagination. Plus, they send a signal to others that you don't want to be interrupted and help to eliminate those unwanted social interactions.
Respond in Batches
If you want to focus, keep your phone out of view and email and messaging system like Slack closed. If you're not required to be "on" and "available" 100% of the time, be honest about how often you need to check-in and respond to people. Is it three or four times a day? Is it once an hour? Do what feels best for your own productivity. Then used those check-ins to respond to everyone you need to. You can put your thought into it then and ignore it the rest of the time. Then you're free to get back to work and focus your attention on the task at hand.
Allowing yourself a distraction isn't bad. Just make them work for you and use them as a reward for finishing a solid chunk of work. Then make sure it's a real break. Don't just hop on your phone, but actually stretch your legs and a take a short walk. If you enjoy social media, block out some time to allow yourself to scroll away. Just keep it to a defined time and then get back to work.