During the last few months, I've noticed a real change in how I set up or choose the tools that I use. I've set my browser to stop displaying the bookmarks bar. I've removed the disk icon from the desktop. I've replaced the desktop image with a solid grey-green background. I've removed all but the most used program icons from sight. If I have to write, I use WriteRoom to force myself into a Full Screen mode. I frequently turn off my computer entirely and work on paper. I bought a radio with clean analog controls.
Thinking about it, I have set or chosen tools to be "non-distracting". As I have become more active in my career and as my time has become correspondingly more in precious, I've begun to value every uninterrupted minute of my time more than ever before, and I have been removing anything from my life that distracts me from activities that are important to me. I now don't want my tools to display anything more than they must display to be completely useful. If possible, I don't even want my tools to do anything more than I need them to do so that I don't waste time by playing with the extra features.
The fact too is that I find that the changes have been effective and that I am far less easily distracted than I used to be when I sit down to work.
Does anyone else here find that they make tool changes or choices based on eliminating distracting visual elements, features, etc.? If so, what changes or choices have helped you the most and why?