I am wicked productive when I’m on an airplane (without wifi) and I don’t have incoming communications (email, Slack, Twitter, etc.) to distract me.
In an attempt to let out of sight lead to out of mind, I’ve made a simple tweak to hide my dock in Mac OS X and turn on “do not disturb” for Notifications. Now I don’t see the little red circles that call out to be cleared and I can keep my head in the problem I’m working on.
When I decide to take a break and hit up my distractions, it’s now a choice. I do it on my schedule, not when someone else happens to send something my way.
The only exception to this is iMessage and the handful of other things that I get alerts on my phone/wrist for. I’ve trimmed that list of things considerably and choose to let those remain real time.