With all the technology we use it’s unusual to find an software experience as profoundly human as Focusmate.
Indeed, it is this very humanity that makes Focusmate so exceptionally effective. Nothing in the span of human history can change our behavior like the influence of other human beings.
By tapping into thousands of years of evolutionary psychology---our reliance on and accountability to the tribe---Focusmate all but forces us to be productive.
Who Are These People?
Focusmate is rare and special group of people with a shared commitment to getting the most out of our short time on earth.
Many of our users work from home or independently, e.g. freelancers, writers, creatives, solopreneurs and entrepreneurs, grad students, grad school applicants, and job seekers.
Many of our users have ADHD; many are trying to get stuff done after a long day; some are converts from Pomodoro.
Regardless, our users come to Focusmate because having someone expecting and counting on you makes it easier to show up and get to work, and then maintain momentum.
Your New Tribe
Meet a few members of the Focusmate community, and learn why they use Focusmate.
And, make sure to join the Focusmate Facebook group, so you can meet everyone else, too!
Una Doyle-Love, United Kingdom
Member since: November 2016
Sessions completed: 800+
Work: Solopreneur - business development coach
George Sisneros, Guatemala
Member since: December 2016
Sessions completed: 150+
"I’ve been using Focusmate for months. I get 10x more done when I schedule a session than when I don't. Scratch that. I get 100x more done!" ~ George
Elizabeth Kim, Durham, North Carolina
Member since: June 2016
Sessions completed: 250+
Work: Student and entrepreneur
“One of the best parts is coworking with strangers. It's a little weird and a little uncomfortable to have a stranger's face on your screen, but that's exactly why it helps you be productive." ~ Elizabeth
Trust and Safety
Focusmate is intensely committed to a providing you with a safe and trustworthy experience.
To this end, we have two layers of security, both of which rely on the most effective policing mechanism available: the community.
1. Reporting misconduct
Misconduct looks like:
- Skipping sessions
- Showing up late
- Failing to keep video turned on
- Leaving early
- Failing to adhere to session etiquette like using the chat and communicating when you leave the screen
We encourage you to report misconduct of all kinds.
The reporting link is included in the calendar invitation. To access the reporting link, first add the session to your calendar.
2. Blocking users.
When a user is reported several times for misconduct, they are blocked from the Focusmate community.
If you wish to block a user, please use the reporting function to describe the user’s misconduct.
Swift and appropriate action will be taken.
In the future, Focusmate will build additional features right into the interface to make it even more seamless to customize your Focusmate experience:
- Rate your partners, so that other users have feedback to guide them toward being the best partner they can be
- Get rated by your partners, and rewarded for being a great partner
- One-click to block users from your tribe
Zero Tolerance for Promoting, Prospecting, Networking, Spamming and Inappropriate Behavior
We are here to get work done.
If you want to sell something, this is not the place.
We have a zero tolerance policy for using Focusmate to generate business.
Also: Focusmate is not a dating website, and any advances of a sexual or romantic nature will be result in an immediate and permanent ban from the site.
Etiquette: Before, During, and After a Session
Below are the core behaviors we ask of you, which make (or break) the experience for you and others.
Troubleshoot your tech
Do your best to show up with audio and video working. (Need help? Contact us.)
Arrive a minute early to your session (and don’t be late)
But, if you’re going to be late, send your partner a message.
A messaging link can be found inside the calendar appointment for your session:
Greet your partner - say “Hello, I’m [your name]”
Be friendly, and get down to work within 60 seconds or less.
Keep your video turned on
List your tasks in the chat box, adding new tasks as you go
If you step away for any reason, let your partner know, including when you’ll be back
Write it in the chat area, e.g. “brb 2 minutes” or “brb getting water”
Keep a quiet work environment or else mute yourself
Allow a minute at the end to check in with your partner
When your time is up, it’s appropriate to check in with your partner to see how it went:
Pause, wait for your partner to respond.
“How did that go for you?”
Let your partner respond.
“Awesome! Thanks for working with me. I’ll see you soon!”
Close the browser window.
Note: If your session ends and your partner doesn’t notice, consider leaving them a note in the chat window saying thanks/goodbye before you close the browser.
If you need to cancel, do so at least 1 hour in advance
To cancel, click the "X" icon twice:
Final Thoughts: On Being a Great Partner
The way we show up (or don’t) in every session defines our community.
Let us all aspire to be the best partners we can be. After all, it’s in your own interest to keep a high standard.