Setting up a computer for focused work
I was inspired to remove distractions from my computer after reading a chapter in the book Remote by 37signals. My strategy is to limit the inflow of information during working hours. My phone already shows alerts for important stuff so pretty much all the alerts on my computer are either redundant or unimportant.
First, I crank up the Do Not Disturb settings in OS X to be active during working hours (mainly to prevent alerts from appearing on the screen). If needed I can open up Notification Center to see them or toggle them back on. The moon icon in iOS suggests that Do Not Disturb is for nighttime but I like not being disturbed during the day too. This article on OS X Daily has info about setting this up: http://osxdaily.com/2013/11/12/schedule-do-not-disturb-mac-os-x/
I try to keep social apps like Twitter uninstalled. Same goes for messaging apps if I don’t need real time messaging.
Lastly, I keep my browser logged out of Facebook and Gmail as much as possible. If I need to login, I try to logout when I’m done. Sometimes I discard this rule if I need frequent access to email for some reason.