In an attempt to help Microsoft users who have a problem with all the distractions that come with modern technology, the company has launched a free Windows 10 update with features to keep them in a zone that is (at least temporarily) free from distraction.
Entitled Focus Assist, the feature makes it possible for workers to temporarily deactivate social media and email notifications at times when they have to dedicate their entire concentration on a specific task. They can, however, still allow messages from selected contacts to get through.
The company said Focus Assist was inspired by research which revealed that office workers are forced to switch tasks or face other interruptions nearly every three minutes, and that it takes them 23 minutes to regain their concentration on their original assignment.
The firm is also introducing a Timeline feature to easily retrieve unfinished documents from the last month.
Marketing General Manager at Microsoft Aaron Woodman said: "Increasingly, people are going to prefer environments where they can control and manage their distractions."
Google’s Android phones and Apple’s iPhone already come with Do Not Disturb modes which allow users to mute notifications. Google is launching a redesigned Gmail with time-saving features this week, where one can use AI to quickly respond to emails, e.g. “Will do, thanks!”
Earlier in 2018, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s CEO, stated that: "Helping people connect is more important than maximising the time people spend on Facebook."
Facebook has also announced a new Sleep mode for Messenger Kids to enable parents to limit their children’s use of this service.