Use Windows Focus Assist to Increase your Productivity

Most of us start our workdays with good intentions. Sitting down with a morning beverage and jotting down a list of priority items for the day seems to work out great. Until the phone starts ringing and the emails start coming in. Then there are other distractions like emails, social media, recipes to look up, and other items at your disposal through the internet. These things are going to happen, but then your deadlines start creeping up and before you know it you’re in a panic to get things done!

Your handy dandy toolbox.

It takes more than just discipline or motivation to make those deadlines with constant distractions, so why not utilize some of the tools you have in front of you. Focus Assist is one of those tools that you can add to your toolbox.

What is Focus Assist?

Focus Assist is an app that comes with built-in with Windows 10 (version 1803 and higher). This app essentially allows you to set your computer to Do Not Disturb mode. Email alerts, Alarm notifications, and other notifications that normally show up on your screen will be temporarily disabled while Focus Assist is turned on. You can turn on Focus Assist and leave it on until you turn it back off or you can set it for a specific time frame, even recurring if you like.

How to turn Focus Assist on

Start by selecting your Start button at the bottom/right corner of your screen or pressing your Windows button on your keyboard.

Type the word “Focus” and then select Focus Assist Settings.

By default, your Focus Assist will be turned off. You can turn it on by selecting Priority Only or Alarms only.

I prefer to set mine to Alarms Only to ensure that I don’t miss any notifications of meetings or other engagements.

Automatic Rules

Setting Automatic rules is easy and will automatically turn on Focus Assist during specific scenarios.

During these times

Setting the during these times option will set your Focus Assist to then on and off at a specific time. You can also set this as a recurring thing to allow for a focus time in your workday.

Select the During these Hours text and a second window will pop up for your settings.

When you’re duplicating your display

Have you ever been presenting something from your screen and a notification popped up that you don’t want everyone to see? Turning on the When I’m duplicating my display option for the Focus Assist will quite your system notifications while presenting.

When you’re playing a game

So, this option isn’t business-related, but you can set your focus assist to not disturb you while you are playing a game.

When you’re using an app in full-screen mode

This option is most helpful when you are trying to focus on one task. When you turn an app on full-screen mode, it hides everything, including your taskbar. Many writers and coders use this to keep distractions down when trying to concentrate.

Customize your priority list

Before I showed you that I have my Focus Assist set to Alarm only. You also have the option of selecting Priority only. This option is highly customizable.

First of all, you can link your phone to your PC using the Link your Phone option. This will allow Focus Assist to work with your phone as well as your PC.

You can also select specific people to be able to override the Focus Assist. (i.e. you can allow all email notifications from your boss.)

There is no substitution for creating a distraction-free environment, but you may want to enhance that with the tools at your disposal. Focus Assist can be a lifesaver to help you get that project out the door on time! If you need help setting up Focus Assist to your specific needs, Harbor Computer Services is happy to help with this or any other settings you may want to adjust. Just contact your Tech or give us a call!

About Harbor Computer Services

Harbor Computer Services is an IT firm servicing Southeastern Michigan. We work exclusively under contract with our clients to provide technology direction and either become the IT department or provide assistance to the internal IT they already have. We have won many awards for our work over the years, including the worldwide Microsoft Partner of the Year in 2010. Most recently we were recognized as one of the top MSP’s in the nation by ChannelFutures coming in at #40 nationwide. And in 2016 as the top Michigan IT firm for Manufacturing. There are a few simple things that make Harbor Computer Services the best choice for your business. •We are Professionals •We are Responsible •We care about your business

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