Getting time to focus on work is a common challenge. If you are in a role where meetings are the norm, how do you make time to plan and get work done? In Microsoft 365 there are a few tricks and tools you can use to create and make the most of focus time.
If you aren’t already using MyAnalytics, now is the time to start. If you want to focus MyAnalytics Focus Time feature will do the heavy lifting for you.
Forward plan and set up regular focus time:
- Visit your MyAnalytics Focus dashboard
- Select ‘Automatically book time’ or ‘Set reminders only’
You’ll now have focus time in your calendar (or reminders to create it).
Now that MyAnalytics has found and locked in your focus time. It will show in your Outlook calendar that you are busy.
Your own self-discipline is important now, as I recently learned. There is little point blocking out focus time if you are just going to accept meetings that come through, so:
- Stick to your focus time and say no to other meetings
- Let your colleagues know that this is how you work
To stop the mobile distractions you can also set your Outlook mobile app to ‘Do not disturb’ so you aren’t distracted by emails on your phone.
- Do not disturb on Outlook for Android (also available on iOS)
You’ve sorted out your distractions and you’re saying no. You’re nearly ready to focus.
With your focus time set in your calendar, Teams will automatically set your status as ‘Focusing’ and ‘Do not disturb’. This does two important things:
- Tells everyone that you don’t want to be disturbed
- Stops notifications from popping up and distracting you
Another handy Teams feature to take advantage of here is your status message. Set or update your message to something that lets people know you are on focus time. You can also set so your message appears when people contact you via chat bu checking the ‘Show when people message me’ box.
- Set your status message in Microsoft Teams
- Follow @MicrosoftTeams on Twitter #MicrosoftTeams
- Teams on Microsoft
Now that you have all the pieces in place for your focus time, you need to prioritise how you use it.
Use To Do to create a list of what you want to achieve. You could create a specific list for your focus time, or just add tasks to ‘My Day’.
If you already have emails flagged or marked as important you can pull them straight into your ‘My Day’.
Once you have set up your ‘My Day’ you are ready to go. It’s all up to you.
- Using Microsoft To Do with Outlook tasks
- Follow @MicrosoftToDo on Twitter #ToDoTogether #MicrosoftToDo
- To Do on Microsoft
The tools are amazing but they are just a way to enable your own self discipline. Do you have your own tips for getting focus time? Share them below.