A New Thing I've Been Using That Sounds Incredibly Strange In Theory But Is Amazing In Practice

My name is Stew and I'm a procrastinator. I have spent untold hours in the unproductive purgatory that Tim Urban describes as "The Dark Playground":

Dark Playground people.png

While procrastinating the other night (by reading Hacker News), I stumbled across a website, Focusmate, that claims to help procrastinators get stuff done.

The problem they're trying to solve is simple: working on stuff alone sucks and is highly demotivating. Here's their bad-sounding solution that's actually amazing in practice:

Focusmate lets you schedule 50-minute video calls with complete strangers across the world who also want to get stuff done. You pick a time, get paired up with a rando, jump on a video call, tell the other person what you plan to accomplish, and you both get to work, keeping your partner's video stream in the top corner of your screen. At the end of the session, you quickly check in with each other and part ways.

For some, probably-baked-in-by-evolution reason, I felt weirdly motivated to accomplish what I had told my partner I planned to do. So far, each of my seven sessions have been unusually productive.

I am completely in love with this product. If you're feeling adventurous, here's the website.