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Focusmate: Strange In Theory, Amazing In Practice

Focusmate is the strange-sounding productivity tool that’s way more effective than coffee or other “hacks”.

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“:

Focusmate is a road out of the dark procrastination playground.

While procrastinating the other night (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, nearly all of my sessions have been unusually productive.

I’ve also met some amazing people on the site…

Well-known bloggers, marketers, aspiring hedge fund managers, programmers, novelists. All of them have been passionate and positive productivity partners.

I love this product.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can use Focusmate for free here.


This post was first sent in a Stew’s Letter, a weekly-ish email for ambitious, curious people. You can join below:

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