A Closer Look at Focus Sessions and Clock in Windows 11
NESABAMEDIA.COM – Windows 11 brings a lot of changes compared to Windows 10, so it’s good to know how things work in this new version. This time, what nesabamedia.com discusses more deeply is the Clock and Focus Sessions features.
The app actually used to be called Alarm & Clock, so that’s the first change to the app. But the big news is the addition of Focus Sessions, a new productivity feature that Microsoft has added in Windows 11. This feature was originally implemented in Microsoft Teams for business customers, but in later versions Windows 11 can be used by anyone.
Focus Sessions and Their Settings
As the name suggests, Focus Sessions are meant to help you stay focused on work for a period of time. This feature gives you advanced time management capabilities so you know how much longer you have to work, but it can also set rest times automatically.
When you first launch the Clock app in Windows 11, it will open directly to Focus Sessions. There are four elements here, so let’s start disassembling them one by one.
The first block is a timer for Focus Sessions, and by default, it’s set to 30 minutes. You can increase the time you want to work, and the app will automatically add breaks to allow you to rest. However, you do have the option of skipping a break if you really need to work without distractions. You can also minimize the timer to a small floating window that’s always visible, so you don’t have to switch apps to see how it moves.
Next to the timer for Focus Sessions, there is a box to show progress. You can set a goal for how long you want to focus each day, and the app will track how often you reach that goal. You can see if you’ve been on the right track for the last few days, or not.
You can change your daily goal by clicking on the pencil icon in the top right corner. You can also set when the timer is reset to measure your daily progress, so if you work past midnight, you can still count focus sessions as part of the same day. Lastly, you can also choose to include weekends in the progress log if you usually work weekends too.
At its core, it’s a very straightforward feature. Just start the timer and get to work.
Microsoft To Do and Spotify Integration
Focus Sessions is more than just a timer that tracks user performance. It’s also meant to bring the tools you need to focus on one screen, so you don’t have to constantly change context. That’s why there are two big integrations here, Microsoft To Do and Spotify.
Microsoft To Do is a task management application. By integrating it into Focus Sessions, you can view upcoming tasks and select the tasks you want to focus on while the feature is running. You can select only one or several, and you can also mark them as completed tasks.
This feature requires you to sign in to the app with a Microsoft account, but chances are you’re already using it for Windows 11. You will see a login button near the bottom left corner of the application window, and you can select an account Windows 11 or separately. Logging in will allow you to access the task lists you have created and sync progress across devices.
Then there’s the Spotify integration, and it’s a nice addition too. Music can often help us stay focused, or drown out the noise around us. With Spotify integration, Focus Sessions gives you multiple types of music to listen to. You can choose from white noise, lo-fi beats, smooth jazz, and more. These are all types of abstract music, meant to help you focus instead of distracting yourself.
For this feature to work, you need to have the Spotify app installed, and if you don’t have it already, you’ll see a link to download it from the Microsoft Store. You’ll also need to log into the Spotify app, then sign in again to Spotify via Focus Sessions.
Other Features in Clock App
In addition to Focus Sessions, the Clock app in Windows 11 is almost identical to the one in Windows 11. You can set an alarm, a timer, use a stopwatch, or view a time-zone highlighting specific cities in the world.
However, there are some noteworthy changes, particularly in terms of UI design. You’ll notice new icons throughout the app, rounded corners, and other minor UI tweaks. The block for each alarm in the Alarms section is now wider, and the time picker when setting a timer has a slightly different appearance.
However, the most notable change is that the timer and stopwatch can now be set into small floating windows, much like Focus Sessions. That means you can see it on top of whatever you’re doing, without having to accommodate large windows or snap apps side by side.