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Focusmate feels like a magic trick for my brain

5 min read

I have been trying out Focusmate - a web app that matches you with another person for a virtual coworking call - and it is helping me get a lot more done.

Moving to Paris

My partner and I are now living in Paris! As of 18 May 2024, we’ve now been here for about two weeks.

I have left my full-time job at the Information Access Group in Melbourne, Australia. So I’ve been adjusting to managing my own time, currently split between job search (currently looking for a full stack engineer role!), French language learning and side projects.

It has been a difficult transition in some ways - I’ve felt a slump in motivation. But in the last couple of days I’ve been trying something out which has been helping a lot - the web app Focusmate.

What is Focusmate?

Focusmate is a web app for virtual coworking - it matches you with another person for a 25 minute video call. At the start of the video call, you say what you are working on this session, then at the end of the session, you say how you went.

During the call, I put my mic on mute, and put the other person’s video in ‘picture-in-picture’ mode in the top right corner of my screen.

It sounds a bit strange to have a video call with a random stranger, but in the ~25 sessions I’ve had so far, everyone has been really nice and encouraging. It feels like a nice little community of likeminded people, who are using the app to help them get stuff done. People are studying for exams, writing press releases, making website wireframes.

I’m surprised how well Focusmate is working for me. Right now, it feels like a magic trick for my brain to click into ‘doing’ mode.

If you struggle with procrastination, or sometimes have a hard time following through on the things that you need or want to do, I would strongly recommend giving it a try.

How and why does it work?

I’m not entirely sure why Focusmate works so well for me, but here are a few ideas off the top of my head. It will be interesting to see if these ideas change over time.

Let’s see how long this feeling lasts

Right now, I’m feeling really excited about how much I can get done with Focusmate. It feels like more is possible than before.

However, I have been excited about other productivity systems in the past! So I don’t expect this feeling to stay the same forever.

My motivation comes and goes in waves, so it will be interesting to see how Focusmate works for me when the motivation is ebbing.

I’m making a reminder for myself in a months’ time (18 June 2024) to add an update to this post.

Give it a try

I don’t think Focusmate is for everyone. Everyone has different things that motivate them. If you don’t struggle with motivation or procrastination, then you probably don’t need to try it.

But from my experience, procrastination is a difficult thing to talk about - it might be something you struggle with but no-one else knows. For example, if you work in a hybrid environment, then you might feel less productive working at home than when you work in the office.

If you ever struggle with these issues, I would strongly recommend giving Focusmate a try. You can do 3 sessions per week for free, or pay US$10 per month for unlimited sessions. It is a bit cheaper if you pay annually.

You can use my referral link here to get one month of unlimited sessions for free.

I’m keen to hear what you think. You can email me at larryhudson@hey.com.

Originally published on by Larry Hudson