So here's the scoop. I am working on a project. Something big enough so that I know it's at least a multi-day effort. And something comes up. A thought, an email, an urge to get up and stretch, or an idea about something else I need to do. Al long as it's not something critical that has to have attention immediately, I am learning to resist the impulse to do something about it--at least for a while.
I look at what I am already doing, and make a conscious choice to just finish this "chunk," this small piece of the project, before I pay attention to whatever was distracting me. Just a quick chopping off of a small piece of the project and committing myself to getting that done before I take care of something else.
I have found that doing this puts me into a kind of tunnel, a very focused state where I can get in the "zone," and concentrate on completing the chunk, because I know that as soon as the chunk is completed, I will be back out of the tunnel, and able to focus on whatever the distraction was.
And, once in the tunnel, it's easy to concentrate, be productive and enjoy the task at hand.
I used to try and jot down ideas, afraid that they might get away, or not come back. I would answer email that wasn't critical, just because I was aware of it coming in.
No time to do that anymore. And there will always be distractions. But chunking and tunneling is my new way of dealing with them. I can go in and out of these tunnels several times a day, and still be on top of anything critical or urgent that comes my way as well. Try it out!