Quality business tools make you more productive and can save you time and your sanity. …
I am a productivity nerd! And when I find a productivity tool that I love to use, I am happy to share it with everyone.
I am a devotee of the Pomodoro Technique – a time management technique where you work in short intervals, or sprints, and then take a short break before continuing your work.
Focus@Will combines the science behind how music interacts with our brain with a Pomodoro-style timer to maximise your productivity!
What is Focus@Will
Focus@Will is a paid subscription online platform that helps you to maximise your focus and work output with the use of lyric-free music that can be customised to your brain.
Focus@Will was created to help people increase focus and productivity by listening to tailored music. This not only allows you to be more effective at work or study, but to increase your free time.
Rather than only focusing for the brain’s natural limit of approximately 20 minutes, Focus@Will uses music based on data, research and science to help extend your focus and help you be more productive for a longer period of time.
Focus@Will offers a web-based app for web browsers, a desktop app for MacOS and Windows, use with Sonos devices and iphone and Android phone apps.
What is the Pomodoro Technique?
The Pomodoro Technique is a productivity tool that was created by Francesco Cirillo in the 80s.
Named after a tomato-shaped kitchen timer that Cirillo used, the technique breaks work down into pomodoros, or time slots, typically 25 minutes, that are measured with a timer.
After each 25 minute slot of work, you take a short (3-5 minute) break, and after 4 pomodoros, take a longer (20 – 30 minute) break to allow your brain to rest.
Any other tasks that come to mind, or are brought to your attention, during the pomodoro should be noted on a sheet of paper to be attended to later. This helps to limit distraction, and temptation to change or switch tasks.
How does Focus@Will Work?
Focus@Will has had significant research, data and science behind its creation. Each track in Focus@Will is carefully created and edited to ensure that it maximises focus and productivity and minimises external distraction.
The team behind Focus@Work includes experts in science, musicology and production to create and refine tracks that will really work. And it is a smart platform, so it will actually refine itself based on your usage and productivity rating to ensure that it is delivering the optimal content for your brain.
Many of the channels in Focus@Will use Brainwave Entrainment. That means that they are specially designed to adapt your brainwaves, or the electricity in your brain, to the activity you are doing. E.g. your brainwaves are very different while you are sleeping to exercising to doing paperwork, so the Brainwave Entrainment in Focus@Will adjusts your brainwaves to be in line with an external frequency – the music you’re listening to.
How do you use Focus@Will?
It is really easy to get Focus@Will up and running quickly – so you won’t use valuable time fiddling with it.
Once you have signed up, you receive an email pointing out a few key points:
- setting the timer;
- trying different music channels;
- tracking your productivity (based on you submitting an *honest* productivity rating after each timed session.
And when you first log in to Focus@Will, there is a simple step-by-step introduction that you can quickly and easily navigate through. Although you can skip this section, I would recommend you don’t, as the 10 or so minutes you’ll spend on it is worthwhile and will help save time later.
You can then complete a short Channel Recommender quiz to help determine what will work best for you based on your brain type.
Once you’re up and running, you can further refine your experience with Focus@Will to aid focus and productivity. For instance, you can:
- Adjust the volume – but keep in mind that a low – medium volume is recommended for best effect;
- skip tracks if you are finding the track being played is distracting. Once you skip a track, it will effectively be permanently skipped, unless you reset skipped tracks at a later time; and
- adjust the energy level of the channel you are listening to, which will keep your timed session, but change the intensity in a similar track (without marking the track you were listening to as skipped).
Who is Focus@Will for?
Focus@Will is useful for any areas of your life where you need to be more focused, less distracted and more productive!
I find it particularly useful when I’m working from home (where I work on a landing with no door!) or if I’m working in a public space like a library or co-working space.
Focus@Will says that it offers relief from distractions such as a busy open-plan offices, noisy or chatty coworkers and smartphones.
Users have even left reviews saying it helps with ADD/ADHD (attention deficit disorder / attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder) and there is a specific channel dedicated to those people with ADD/ADHD.
How do I choose the right channel for me?
To be honest, the best way to find a Focus@Will channel that works for you is try them all out!
Trying out the Channel Recommender Quiz will also help give you a channel to try out first.
All of the channels have been specifically designed to increase focus and productivity, but some will work better than others for each person. And, it’s not expected to be the type of music you’d generally choose to listen to.
Having said that, my favourite channels are Baroque Piano and Classical Piano (at high intensity) and it is the sort of music I generally listen to when I’m trying to work and as background sound.
For interest, the channels that most Focus@Will members find effective are: Focus Spa, Alpha Chill, Up Tempo and Classical. There are also ‘Lab’ channels which are channels in testing and development. The Propeller Drone is like an intense dance music session!
When you choose a channel to try, listen to it for at least 20 minutes (or a pomodoro) to see how effective it is for your brain. If you don’t like a particular track in the channel, you can skip it, and also change the intensity of the tracks you are listening to.
How is Focus@Will different from other music streaming apps?
Focus@Will is specifically created to aid focus, and the music you’ll listen to is exclusive to the platform.
While you can listen to focus playlists on other services like Spotify, Soundcloud, Pandora and iTunes, they are unlikely to have been created with the same level of insight, and may just be user compiled content based on what one person believes works for them.
Focus@Will is designed to increase focus and productivity of its members, rather than to stream music for users to enjoy.
Does Focus@Will have mobile apps?
How much is Focus@Will?
For such an amazing productivity tool Focus@Will is certainly cheaper than I expected!
I think we can all agree that time is especially precious when you’re a beginner entrepreneur or small business and Focus@Will promises 4x productivity for only US$70. That’s around AU$100 a year or the price of a coffee for a month!
There are other membership options for workplace accounts, a lifetime VIP membership for $150 and two-year subscriptions for $60. I’ve invested in a 2-year membership to take advantage of their current discount offer (applied automatically at checkout).
This is really a small investment into increased productivity, and you get a 7-day free trial before you commit to anything. You can cancel your membership (and trial) at any time.
I think Focus@Will is an incredibly useful piece of software and it is well worth the money.
Kickbox Your Inbox
The lowest hanging fruit when it comes to maximising your productivity is to learn how to manage your emails in a time-efficient way.
Your email inbox is a business necessity – but hardly anyone’s actual work is the business of emails! So it’s important to time-block when (and how) you use your inbox so you can focus on doing the things you love and/or the things that will actually move the needle on your business.
This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase using the links there is no extra cost to you (and you get a discount!) and I earn a small commission that helps me to provide free, valuable and useful information for you! Thanks in advance – Joyce