Focus@will is a “DJ in the sky” app that works to accomplish one goal for you: providing music that makes it easier for you to focus.
The makers of this platform argue that this application can make you more productive and less distracted as you work, study, or read a book. Their reasoning is very extensive, as their choice of music and mission is all rooted in how the human brain works.
“Listening to music with soothing aspects, that plays at 60 beats per minute, can decrease neural activity, and lead to a relaxed, but awake state called alpha state that is defined by an increase in alpha brain waves and a decrease in higher activity beta waves. Increases in alpha waves have been tied to a psychological state of decreased self-awareness, timelessness, and motivation known as ‘flow’. Songwriters, musicians, writers, athletes, and meditators are all people who separately describe the same experience when flow state is reached.” [Footnotes and full description can be found here]
So the purpose of the music they are providing is to get us into this “flow state” so that we can be more productive and less distracted.
Okay, let’s back up.
As a lot of you know, my boss likes to send me links to gimmicky startups that are, well, cool and interesting to say the least. About a week ago, I was commanded to start using focus@will as my music player (I listen to music at work all day).
Like a lot of you would, I immediately rebelled against the notion of giving up my Spotify playlists I cherish at work, but I was curious enough to give focus@will the old college try.
And yes, this app works. Oh, and it’s beautifully simple.
As days passed, I noticed more and more how much easier it was to get my tasks down while listening to the songs provided by focus@will. I found myself finishing assignments in half the time it usually takes.
When first checking out the website (it is also available for free as an app on iPhone), you have the option of creating an account. I logged in via Google Plus and found this to be a good choice, since the app keeps track of your “sessions” and actually asks you to rate how productive you were after a given session.
At the time of this article, there are 7 types of music you can listen to: Classical, Focus Spa, Up Tempo (my personal go-to), Alpha Chill, Acoustical, Cinematic, and Ambient.
I was actually pleased by the limited options, mostly because I didn’t feel overwhelmed. I simply tried a few different genres and settled into the ones I liked the most.
As I said before, the app will ask you after a certain amount of time how productive you were, and you can rate this between 0 and 100%. If you scroll to the right, you can view how your productivity is trending over time and set a timer for 100 minutes. This is a nifty tool as long as you are honest with yourself.
There’s a paid version of the app, but I couldn’t find any information on why I would want to pay $35 a year for something that is apparently free, and they don’t really advertise any “premium” options.
So, that’s about all there is to it. Like I said, this startup is beautifully simple. It was actually devised two years ago and has found great success. I’m hoping that it continues to build a following, as I greatly enjoyed this novel idea, and my latest work shows it.
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