Distracted by technology? Microsoft tries to help

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Technology companies whose devices and constantly scrolling online services have driven us to distraction are beginning to acknowledge that their products can be a waste of time. Some of them now say they’re trying to help.

Microsoft is rolling out a free update to its Windows 10 computer operating system Monday with new features to keep people in a distraction-free zone.

“Focus Assist” enables workers to temporarily switch off email and social media notifications during times when they need to keep their heads down. They can allow messages from certain people to break through.

Microsoft says the update is inspired by research showing office workers are being interrupted or having to switch tasks about every three minutes — and it takes 23 minutes to get back in focus.

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