Any advice to help me stay focused during deep work?

Naja Mortensen
What I do: make a to-do list of things you want to do. Every time you sit down up work, prioritise it. If the items are too big, split them up. Listen to calm music, without lyrics. Take the first one the list and get to work. Whenever I realize that I have been distracted by something, take a step back and look at my list of prioritises, choose the top one, and get back to it. No judgement, just realize that will happen and start over.

Rosa Hansen
Just focus. Turn off your phone, your desktop email notifications, go to a quiet place or use headphones with white noise or blocking sounds. When a temptation appears to check email or Facebook just bring yourself to the task. Just for a few more minutes. And so on for the whole session. Then take a break. Good luck. Track your progress. Scorecard each day how many hours of productive work you were able to put in.

Tara Jahns
I did what the app suggested as far as writing down interruptions on a piece of paper. I was surprised that there were six interruptions in just 25 minutes!! But it helped to write it down! I knew it would get done right after my deep work.

Méline Leclercq
There are three chief types of distractions – three I could think of right now, anyhow. Each of them is a little harder to deal with than the last one.

1) Devices or people
For both of these, "blocking" is the way to go For people of course this should be more of a request.

2) Other things racing in your mind.
Generally the result of your not tracking all your open loops effectively, the solution is just to jot down in your notebook or task management system whatever the open loop you're thinking about is/needs done about it. It is absolutely key you review this list often enough that you truly trust it.

3) The task itself
Chill out.
In the words of David Allen, author of the life management system Getting Things Done ™, "you're more productive when you're relaxed." In so far as it is the task itself that is distracting you, relaxing and looking at it objectively is a massive help. If needed, take just a second to compare it to a circumstance like being in a war just to make you realise you're actually pretty well off right now and what you're facing isn't so scary.

Lilica Mendes
Turn off possible distractions, muting mobile phones. Have a specific task in mind and have it ready to go. Try to choose a time when you're likely to be on your own

Anika Teske
Ask yourself questions about the work you’re doing to keep yourself involved. Write out your distractions and put them away. Remind yourself that you want to work hard and the desire will help with the follow through.

Udo Asmus
Keep your surroundings calm, quiet and peaceful. Turning off all distractions (even your phone) and maybe setting a timer on how long you plan to do your deep work, that way during that time you are focused on what you are doing. Clearing your mind of any clutter that would keep you from being centered in what you are wanting to accomplish. Make sure that you eat something and drink plenty of fluids before doing your deep work.

Susie Watts
Gather the item/s with which you plan to work and close the door to the area to accomplish your task. For me, I have found it helpful to put a unique chalk sign on the door where I need to do my Deep Work. It simply says, “Shhh… Sacred Space.” If the work is outdoors, I put the sign on a small table or on a blanket. It politely but effectively provides a response that usually provides that response. As you have blocked others distracting you, you may want to disconnect and unplug unless that is part of your deep work. If you’re having trouble on pure focus, try meditating on stillness in your work, using visualization seeing it go focused, smoothly, and as you want it. There is real power in that. I also will pray before or during if I’m struggling to stay on task, asking for the help of the One Whom made me.

Cléo Lefevre
I don’t know about anyone else but I work better when there I’m listening to music with earphones. I zone in and focus on the sounds and the task. I’m less likely to look around (and look at my phone). I’m a lawyer and my line of work requires extreme focus but silence in the office is rare because of all the calls and people talking, etc. So music helps. But not loud music. Just enough to drown out the surrounding noise.

Dianne Warren
I remind myself of the awesome feeling I get when I accomplish my goal. Being focused allows me to finish earlier than if I was distracted. Multitasking is a path to mediocrity!

Betânia Fernandes
I find the chimes in a meditation app, which you can customize by sound and frequency, help to keep me on track. I time each task (estimate its completion time and set the meditation timer for that.)

Annedore Freudenberg
I set the stage by preparing my work area. I light a candle, get my favorite sparking water, and turn on focus music. I tell the family I’m unavailable for whatever time I have set to do my deep work. I literally put a do not disturb sign on the door to reinforce that I’m serious. It was such a big change for me that I found the sign reminds them. I also pump myself up with why I’m doing the work. Afterward I celebrate. I’m pretty goofy so I usually jam out to my favorite songs!