Want to focus on your work but you are constantly distracted by emails and unnecessary notifications? Well, if you are on Windows 10, Microsoft’s Focus Assist function can help you silence most non-crucial notifications like antivirus update or Dell’s advert pop-ups. It can even silence non-essential email notifications.

Here are the instructions to get these activated and adjust the settings>> https://support.microsoft.com/en-gb/help/4026996/windows-10-turn-focus-assist-on-or-off

You can set a period of time where you want Focus Assist to come on or turn off. You can also see a summary of all notifications you have missed after you have come off Focus Assist. Give it a try to see if it works for you!

This is perfect if you want to protect a couple of hours a day to focus on your writing but cannot afford to miss out on important notification or switch off your wifi access altogether.

Another more drastic method which I have used to great success is to go into airplane mode (https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4027421/windows-turn-airplane-mode-on-or-off). You can access this by clicking the notification panel on the bottom right-hand corner and clicking on the aeroplane symbol. This cuts your internet access which thus prevents emails from syncing or coming through. One issue is that this, however, does not block out notifications that do not require internet like meeting alarms (please double-check this as well) or dropbox’s repeated reminder that it is not syncing due to the lack of internet. Airplane mode also cuts Bluetooth and NFC access as well.

If technology has the power to be distracting, it can also help you focus, so make full use of it to get as much productivity out of it as you can.

Keep writing champs!

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© Dr Ken Yan Wong 2019

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