Email overload, Twitter updates, monster slippers... Top 10 ways to avoid distractions at work

The secret is to keep colleagues at bay and do a job you love...

...focus on one task for an hour and check your emails after that.

"It's amazing when you try to do that how you find that you're being attracted to dropping it for a minute and checking something - you actually have to physically retrain yourself," she said.

Email inbox

Avoid the temptation to reply to every email the minute it hits your inbox - checking for new messages will interrupt your workflow Image: Shutterstock

6. Resist checking for new messages

The compulsive need to constantly check your smartphone or email account for new messages is highly disruptive to your workflow.

"The immediacy of communication means people feel a pressure to respond right away and so that provides a pressure to be constantly checking your phone," Eastwood said.

Businesspeople should train themselves to have specific times when they go through their emails and messages and set periods of an hour or so when they do not check their messages at all, she advised.

7. Prioritise emails

When the time comes to deal with emails that have built up in your inbox, it can take up a significant proportion of your day, and often many of the emails will be useless.

Praesta's Eastwood said executives who have a PA should ask them to filter their emails in the same way that post would be filtered.

"Senior people who have PAs - it's amazing how many of them don't use their PAs to filter their emails, whereas in the olden days when people had mail their PAs would sort them into urgent, action and 'for information'," she said.

Emails which fall under the urgent or action category should be...

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