With a lot of companies letting their employees work from home (WFH) as part of the social distancing efforts to fight COVID-2019, getting people to focus with all the distractions at home can be a challenge. One tool that you can use, if you have a smartphone that supports it, is Android’s Focus Mode. While it won’t solve all of your productivity issues as you try to work outside of the office, it can help reduce distractions and help you concentrate on what needs to be done.

Focus Mode is part of the Digital Wellbeing efforts that Google is bringing to Android devices. From the name itself, the feature lets you lessen the distractions around you, specifically from your smartphone, so you can focus on your tasks at hand. In your personal profile, you can pause apps like Spotify or YouTube or games so you will not be able to use them when you turn on Focus Mode. The apps you’ve chosen to pause will turn gray once the mode is activated. Their notifications will be hidden and will be put on hold until such time as you turn off the Focus Mode.

You can also create a daily schedule so that Focus Mode will automatically turn on at certain times of the day, in case manually turning it on will not work for you. If you need to check on one of the paused apps during your break, you can also take a temporary break from Focus Mode so you can use the app. And after that break, Focus Mode will go back on and life goes on without the apps you’ve identified.

You can also create a work profile so you can organize the apps that you need when you’re actually working. More importantly, probably, you can pause those apps as well when you’re done working. You will not be able to use them and you won’t receive notifications as well. That’s your time to go ahead and scroll through your social media and watch videos and play games without being disturbed by work.

Having a Focus Mode and a work mode will be especially helpful for people working at home now so there can still be a clear delineation between work and leisure. It’s not clear if Focus Mode will roll out to all Android users. For now, it seems to be available only for Android 10 users but that may change over the next few months, maybe even weeks.


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