Hands on with Windows 11’s new productivity feature Focus Sessions

Windows 11 To Do Focus Sessions

Windows 11 is getting a new feature called “Focus Sessions”
which is a simple and yet effective productivity system that
will stop you from procrastinating or getting distracted, so
you can focus on getting your work done.

The Focus Sessions feature is part of the operating system’s
native Clock app and the idea is simple: set a timer, pick your
tasks from Microsoft To Do, select your favourite music, and
work until it runs out. You can also take a break and repeat
the process in a cycle until your work is over.

By default, the timer is set to a 30-minute work session and
it’s long enough that you can stay fully engaged. It seems to
be based on the Pomodoro Technique and users can also
configure 5-minute breaks, which can give you a chance to check
your email without losing focus.

Focus Sessions in Clock

Of course, you can also use a stopwatch or any timer app to
keep a track of your time, but a dedicated Focus Sessions
feature in Windows 11 will definitely make your life a little
easier when you use it properly. It saves you the hassle of
configuring third-party apps or accounts.

Microsoft To Do in Windows 11

To get started, you need to pick a task from Microsoft To Do.
If a task is not available, you can create one directly from
within the Clock app.

Once done, tell Microsoft how much time you have, and Windows
will set up the rest. You can visit the Clock app’s settings to
change the timer duration and enable or disable To Do and
Spotify integration.

Clock app

The Clock app currently offers support for the following focus
periods:

  • Automatic (based on AI)
  • 15 minutes
  • 30 minutes
  • 45 minutes
  • 1 hour.

You can work until the timer runs out and then take a 5-minute
break (default). You can also skip breaks or take a 10- to
15-minutes break instead.

Focus Sessions in Clock app

You can also play an alarm when the focus or break period ends
and the alarm notification will appear within the notification
center.

Spotify integration in Windows 11

As mentioned, Microsoft has integrated Spotify functionality
into the Clock app and it shows shortcuts to favourite
playlists (if you’ve one) and suggestions for popular
background relaxing music.

Spotify integration

It’s worth noting that the Clock app will not play Spotify
music. It will open the Spotify Microsoft Store app in the
background and sync the music with the work session. If the app
is not installed, Microsoft will download and install it for
you.

Spotify and Clock app

You can select the playlist and click on “play music” below the
timer to play the music in the dedicated Spotify client.

You can also a view summary of your activities and progress in
Microsoft’s dashboard which will be synced across your devices.

Daily progress in Clock app

Alongside the new Clock app with Focus Sessions integration,

Microsoft has also published Windows 11 Build 22000.160
with several bug fixes and quality improvements.

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