Called “Focus Time,” the upcoming feature will allow you to schedule quiet times directly from Outlook’s calendar.
With its new versions of Windows, Microsoft has added handy features that turn off notifications and help you work without interruptions. Now the company is working on adding the same idea to Outlook, allowing you to set periods of silence in the email client.
The new “Focus Time” for Outlook
As spotted by Neowina new entry on the Microsoft 365 roadmap comes with the title “Outlook: Focus Time in Outlook Calendar”. It was also added recently, with a premiere date of October 28, 2022.
The entry’s description doesn’t mince words about the functionality of the feature:
Users can schedule focus events directly from the Outlook calendar and disable Outlook and Teams notifications during this time.
The roadmap is Microsoft’s way of keeping users informed about features in progress, which means that it will take some time before you can turn off notifications in Outlook calendar. However, the company has set a tentative release date for January 2023.
Give some attention to employees working from home
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen Microsoft add new focus-related features to its products. In April 2022, Microsoft improved Windows 11’s Focus Assist tool to help people do even more.
But why does Microsoft pay so much attention to these focus-related features? The answer may lie in the recent boom of people working from home. Desktop PCs usually don’t come with much more than is needed to get the job done. As such, notifications are usually work-related and important.
Now that many people are working from home, things are getting a little more distracting. If you use the same PC for work and play, you’ve probably been bombarded with notifications from both sides by now; work emails that arrive alongside friends messaging you on Facebook, for example.
As such, it’s important for users to be able to customize which apps can send notifications and when. This way, people working from home have an easier time managing when it’s time to do business and when it’s time to chat.
Microsoft probably realizes this, and that may be why its applications and software now benefit from improved debugging-related tools. And it’s just as likely that the company will introduce more focus-focused tools or improve its existing ones in the near future.
Focus on productivity
With people working from home, Microsoft seems to be developing better tools to help people stay focused. We’ll have to see how the tool works when we can use it for ourselves in January 2023.