We can achieve greater output with less effort if we do our tasks with better focus. Better focus means that we can direct all our energy towards achieving that particular goal, rather than wasting some of that energy on useless tasks.
This means that we can achieve higher productivity if we are more focused. How to get more focused then?
We can achieve better focus by removing distractions from our lives. Distractions are all those events that make us leave the task at hand and switch to attending that event. To get more productive, one has to spend a long duration of time on a single task without getting distracted .
Now how to achieve better focus with fewer distractions?
Consistency makes the entry here. Our brain is a highly plastic muscle. This means that we can shape our brains into any form that we want (figuratively) quite easily. It is similar to training our biceps in a gym. The more you train, the stronger your biceps grow. The more you practice being less distracted, the more focused your brain becomes.
You become good at whatever you practice.
This is why you are less focused now. In the pre-smartphone era, you were able to study for long hours, could solve tough mathematical equations without breaking a sweat. But now you suffer from a high amount of distractions all the time such that being distracted has become a habit.
To counter this, make a habit of not getting distracted. Allot a time and space for deep work and do not let yourself get distracted for that period of time. Start small and do it consistently
. If you keep doing it for long enough, you will start noticing the positive effects of this very soon. You will be more focused at work and feel more productive. To know about my experience with this experiment, you can check out this answer on Quora