One thing is that when I need to concentrate on a task, I set my work’s instant messaging program to Do Not Disturb. Not only does this stop me from seeing any new messages until I am in a state that I can respond to them, it also discourages my coworkers from sending me a message in the first place. This barrier causes them to think more deeply about their issue and many times they can resolve it on their own after all.
Another thing I’ve done is I’ve turned off my email notifications, and turned off the icon that appears in the taskbar when a new message arrives. I basically always have new emails coming in, so I don’t need to be alerted. I can now check email at certain times, such as when I finish a task a few minutes early.
Before I turned off the new email icon, my curiosity/habit always pulled me out of the zone to see what the new email is about. This is extremely disruptive, making the initial task take much longer, and also created anxiety by reminding me how much email and To Do’s I have, when I just need to just focus on the task at hand and not worry about everything at the same time.
I hope this helps! Best wishes finding what works for you!