Do you ever just need to put your head down and work? You know how hard it can be to concentrate with distractions like meetings, phone calls, and the unexpected pop-in. Focus Time in Google Calendar can help.

Using Focus Time, you can designate that time to dig into your report, answer those emails, or catch up on updates. So, anyone with visibility into your calendar can see your time blocked. One terrific feature of Focus Time is that you can automatically decline meetings with a personalized note to the organizer.

Note: As of April 2022, the feature is available to Google Workspace customers including Business Standard and Plus, Enterprise Standard and Plus, Education Fundamentals, Teaching & Learning Upgrade, Standard, and Plus, along with Nonprofits.

RELATED: What Is Calendar Blocking?

Set Focus Time in Google Calendar

Setting up a Focus Time is as easy as scheduling an event in Google Calendar. Currently, you can create the Focus Time event in Google Calendar on the web, but not in the mobile app.

Start by selecting Day or Week view in the drop-down box at the top. The feature also works when using a custom Day view such as three, four, or five days.

View options in Google Calendar

Click the date and time on your calendar for the Focus Time you want to schedule. Choose “Focus Time” as the event type at the top of the pop-up window.

Schedule Focus Time in Google Calendar

The event displays with a headphone icon on your calendar.

Focus Time in Google Calendar

You can click “Save” to save the Focus Time or take advantage of the additional options below.

Schedule Repeating Focus Time

If you plan to set up a Focus Time on a regular schedule, like every day from 4pm to 5pm or just on Fridays from 2pm to 4pm, you make this event repeat.

RELATED: How to Add, Edit, or Delete Recurring Events in Google Calendar

In the event pop-up window, click the date and time section to expand it. Then use the Does Not Repeat drop-down list to choose the timing.

Repeating event timing options

If you choose “Custom,” you can select specific days of the week, a day of the month, and when the repeating event should end.

Custom time for a repeating event

Automatically Decline Meetings

Check the box to Automatically Decline Meetings if you wish to use that feature. Then choose either Only New Meeting Invitations or New and Existing Meetings.

Automatically decline meetings

When you save the event, you’ll be asked to confirm that you want to decline meetings during the Focus Time you set. Click “Save & Decline” to confirm.

Confirm automatically declining meetings

Customize the Decline Message

To add a personalized note rather than using the default for declining meetings, click the text below Message and enter your own.

Message when declining a meeting

If you receive a request for a meeting that’s during your Focus Time, the organizer sees your message along with your decline via email.

Meeting decline message in an email

They also see your message on the event in Google Calendar.

Meeting decline message in Google Calendar

Create a Notification

One more option you might like to set for Focus Time is a reminder. You can receive a notification so that you don’t forget Focus Time is growing near.

RELATED: How to Customize Google Calendar's Notifications on the Web

Click the section with your name at the bottom of the event to expand that area. To the right of the bell icon, use the drop-down box to set the notification timing. You can choose from minutes to a day before.

Notification time options

If you pick “Custom,” you can select the exact minutes, hours, days, or weeks

Custom notification options

You can have multiple notifications too if you like. Just click “Add Notification” to include another.

Optional Items for Focus Time

Along with the above settings, you have a few others you can use for your Focus Time event. These are similar to regular event options.

RELATED: How to Show Your Work Hours and Location in Google Calendar

  • Change the title.
  • Add a location.
  • Include a description.
  • Attach a file.
  • Select a different event color.
  • Adjust the default visibility.

Each of these are in the event pop-up window.

Other Focus Time settings

Also, you can edit an existing Focus Time event using the pencil icon or delete the event using the trash can.

When you need to get stuff done, let others know or use the time blocking method of time management by scheduling yourself Focus Time in Google Calendar.

Profile Photo for Sandy Writtenhouse Sandy Writtenhouse
With her B.S. in Information Technology, Sandy worked for many years in the IT industry as a Project Manager, Department Manager, and PMO Lead. She learned how technology can enrich both professional and personal lives by using the right tools. And, she has shared those suggestions and how-tos on many websites over time. With thousands of articles under her belt, Sandy strives to help others use technology to their advantage.
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