Meetings, emails, and chats are necessary to get work done, but they often leave us with little time during the work day for uninterrupted individual work. Some people report spending over 80% of their day collaborating with coworkers, and research has shown that it can take over 20 minutes to refocus after checking just one email.
The focus plan in MyAnalytics helps you block regular time for your top-priority work by scheduling up to two hours every day to focus. One way it promotes focus is by silencing chats in Teams and in Skype for Business during that booked time.
To create your focus plan
You can create your focus plan in the MyAnalytics dashboard or in the Outlook add-in:
In the header of the Focus page of your personal dashboard, select Book time now.
MyAnalytics now adds up to two hours of focus time per day on your Outlook calendar. The amount of time depends on what times your calendar has open. For more information, see Automatic booking of focus time.
You can also use the Outlook add-in to enroll in the focus plan. To do so, select the Create your focus plan.
The step that follows matches the step that is described in Personal dashboard.
To check the progress of your focus plan
After your plan has started, you can check your progress and make sure that you have focus time booked every day over the upcoming two weeks. If the plan has run for at least few days, it will have numbers to report.
In the MyAnalytics dashboard, select Focus in the left navigation pane. A panel opens up to display statistics about your focus time:
An important metric on this page is displayed under Last week. It shows how many days you had focus time last week.
The Plan ahead area helps you to plan focus time for the upcoming days. This area has the following sections:
Focus time booked
For the current week and the following week, this area shows how many days and which days have had focus time booked. In the preceding example screenshot, the three days with focus time booked are shown in green.
Needs focus time
This section shows upcoming days that have no focus time booked but still have open time available. Select Book now to have MyAnalytics select and book this time.
During the number of days shown (in the screenshot, three days) MyAnalytics has either found no time to book or it has found booked focus time that has a meeting conflict. Select Review to open your calendar in Outlook on the web to resolve the issue.
If you make changes to your Outlook calendar, they will be reflected on your dashboard within five minutes.
To leave or change your focus plan
You can opt in and opt out of the focus plan as many times as you want.
Select Plan configuration:
This opens the Configurations page and displays the Plan configuration card, on which you can leave the plan or change your preferences.
Rather than have MyAnalytics automatically book focus time for you, you can have it send you reminders (in the form of a weekly email) to set focus time for yourself. To do this, on this card, select Reminders only.
To have MyAnalytics stop helping you book focus time, select Leave plan.
The following sections provide information that can help you as you create or monitor focus plans.
Automatic booking of focus time
After you set automatic booking as your preference, MyAnalytics starts looking for time on your Outlook calendar to set aside as focus time. The time that it books on your calendar appears in a different color and is labeled "Focus time":
Focus time never creates a calendar conflict; that is, focus time will not be booked over any existing calendar event, such as all-day meetings, booked personal time, or appointments.
Although two hours is the maximum length of a focus-time block that can be scheduled automatically, you can extend your focus time, by hand, in your Outlook calendar.
MyAnalytics books focus time two weeks in advance. For example: when you open your calendar on a Monday, you should see focus time booked every day of the current week and all the way through the Friday of the following week. Each weekend it looks for time blocks in the next week out and books time accordingly.
How time slots are selected
The time it reserves for you depends on what you have open during the day. MyAnalytics starts its search at the beginning of your workday, as it is defined in your Outlook settings. If your day starts at 8:00 AM and you have two hours open right then, MyAnalytics schedules two hours of focus time, from 8:00 to 10:00 AM. If it finds no open time at the beginning of your day, it continues to scan your calendar to find open blocks later in the day. If only smaller amounts of time are available, it can book a focus block as short as one hour.
After it books a block on one day, it then moves on to the next day to find the next suitable block. (In most cases, it creates only one block of focus time per day.)
MyAnalytics considers the time from 12:00 PM (noon) to 1:00 PM as time for the midday meal. If you have automatic booking turned on, MyAnalytics tries to book any other time of day first. If it finds no other blocks of time available, it will then book focus time during the lunchtime period.
Chats are muted during focus time
During focus time, your status in Teams and Skype for Business will automatically change to "Focusing" to silence chat notifications and help you stay focused. When the focus time appointment ends, your status will automatically revert back to the status you were previously in. Note that you can set priority contacts in Teams to ensure you don’t miss important messages during focus time.
For more information, see Manage notifications in Teams.
Weekly digest and insights add-in
Focus plan weekly digest
After you enroll in a focus plan, the content of the weekly digest becomes tailored to your participation in the plan. It might, for example, remind you to book focus time for days on which none is set aside.
You can open the Outlook add-in to check whether any upcoming days are missing focus time. To do so, use this card:
Selecting this card shows the following options, with which you can book focus time on individual days or for several days at once: