Microsoft's MyAnalytics work assistant now encourages you to slow down and focus

Microsoft's MyAnalytics tool within Office 365 will help you craft a plan to take some time for yourself.

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In a culture of work, work, work, Microsoft’s MyAnalytics has always been one of the few quiet voices urging you to slow down. At Microsoft’s Build developer conference today, the company announced that this Office tool will explicitly encourage you to take “focus” time to regroup, enhance your well-being, and network.

MyAnalytics is not for everyone. The service is only available for Microsoft Office 365 Enterprise and Business users with a hosted email (Exchange) plan. That’s important, given that one of the ways MyAnalytics determines if you’re working, and working effectively, is to look at when you’re replying to email and also how responsive you are. The tool builds a “dashboard” of various metrics, tapping into Outlook as well as Delve to explore your role in the corporate hierarchy.

Microsoft considers MyAnalytics to be a “personal productivity assistant,” an offshoot of 2015’s Microsoft Delve. Now, the service is gaining a few new capabilities. One important addition is a “plan” to help you find time to get away from all of the meetings and busy work and find time to “focus.” Part of that plan appears to be to now track “quiet days,” or the days where you’re not working after hours. 

If you book time to focus, your Teams colleagues will be made aware of your status, Microsoft says. MyAnalytics will also have two new AI-powered suggestions in the flow of Outlook that help you rebook focus time if it gets scheduled on top of, or set aside focus time for specific to-dos. 

Finally, the company plans to build upon the “plan” motif to add additional plans in the future, specifically for well-being, networking, and collaboration. Sadly, there’s no “executive time” built into MyAnalytics, but perhaps that’s coming in the future. 

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