Are YOU easily distracted at your computer? Microsoft to launch ‘focus assist’ for Windows that lets you switch off email and social media

  • Microsoft says it is fighting ‘the war on attention’ 

Microsoft is set to add a radical new feature to its Windows 10 software to stop users being distracted. 

The free update, called Focus Assist, enables workers to temporarily switch off email and social media notifications.

Microsoft says the update is inspired by research showing office workers are being interrupted or having to switch tasks about every three minutes – and it takes 23 minutes to get back in focus.

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‘Today, most of us spend between 3-6 hours – each day – on screens,’ Microsoft says.

‘Much of this time is spent on social media, where the constant stream of distractions across our myriad of devices makes it hard to focus. 

‘In many ways, our attention is being hacked, pulling us into continuous scrolls of information, but distracting us from what matters most. 


Turn on Focus Assistwhenever you want to get things done without distractions, like social media or other notifications. 

Or set it to turn on automatically at certain times during the day when you want focused time.

When you finish, you receive a summary of what came through, whether notifications, emails or updates, while you were heads down.

If you’re waiting on a specific call or email, choose people who you want to break through. 

‘This war on attention is real – in the workplace, the average amount of time people spend on any single event before being interrupted or switching tasks is about three minutes (outside of meetings).’

The system can allow messages from certain people to break through.

 The update will be released on Monday as part of Microsoft’s latest update.

Microsoft has also updated its Edge browser, allowing users to click the audio icon to mute and unmute a tab that is playing sound.  

 It also includes a new Timeline feature.

This allows a Windows 10 PC lets you go back in time up to 30 days to find things. 


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