How to get the most out of Focusmate
Focusmate is capable of making you literally twice as productive as you are without it.
That’s not our claim; that’s according to Focusmate users.
Imagine the potential of being twice as productive:
You could work a shorter workday and have more time for sleep, exercise, family and fun.
You could attain a major life goal in 5 years instead of 10!
With a superpower like double-productivity, the possibilities are endless.
In this guide, we’ll share some tips with you that will help you unlock those productivity superpowers.
Every one of these tips is grounded in behavioral science and evolutionary psychology: immutable brain wiring as old as humanity itself.
1. Schedule Focusmate sessions 24 hours in advance
Research shows that it’s easier to set ambitious intentions in advance, and that when you do, you’re more likely to follow through.
- Channel your ambition more effectively
- Follow through on your intentions more consistently
2. Prioritize your work separately from executing your work
Making decisions about your priorities is a distinct and critical task unto itself.
Make sure you allow time to prioritize, and incorporate it into a daily ritual.
- Always work on the highest value tasks
- Get more results with the same time/energy
PRO TIP: If you haven’t prioritized your work when you start a session, start by planning your work
“Failing to plan is planning to fail”. Don’t let that be you.
If you show up to a Focusmate session without a clear agenda, that’s okay! Simply begin the session by planning the next few hours or the rest of your day.
3. Be specific, concrete and detailed in defining your todos and tasks
Write every task you plan to do like you’re giving instructions to a more tired, less intelligent future self.
Spell it out: “Write Sandy an email asking to meet about job application”.
NOT: “Email Sandy”.
- Reduce transition time
- Eliminate task-avoidance
4. Always write down your todos and tasks
Numerous studies strongly suggest that when you write down your goals, they’re more likely to happen.
This effect is even stronger in Focusmate, where you can write each task in the chat window, thereby sharing it with your partner and heightening the accountability.
- Follow-through more consistently
5. Drag the Focusmate browser tab into a new window, to keep your partner visible
Keeping your partner visible will remind you of their presence and unlock the maximum accountability.
The easiest way to achieve this is by dragging the video into a separate window so you can move and resize it to fit alongside your work.
Part of keeping your partner visible is being able to see the chat thread, and ideally, keeping your audio turned on so you hear a notification sound when your partner sends you a chat.
- Work faster
- Resist distractions
PRO TIP: If you have a small screen, you can log on to your Focusmate session using your phone or tablet, and keep your partner visible on your phone instead of your computer.
6. Keep your video turned on so your partner can see you
Keeping your video turned on is critical so that you are accountable for being at your desk working.
The moment you turn off your video your mind tricks you into easing up your focus.
Meanwhile, keeping your video on also helps your partner, because it simulates your presence and heightens their experience of accountability.
- Resist distractions
- Heighten focus
7. Always use Focusmate for your most important work
When you start a Focusmate session, you declare your first task.
Let your first task always be the answer to this question:
What’s the most valuable item on my todo list?
Then, do that task.
- Improve efficiency
8. The more you use Focusmate, the stronger your attention muscle gets
A multitude of research has shown that attention is a skill that can develop like a muscle.
Using Focusmate helps you build that muscle, and the more you use it, the stronger you’ll get.
Here are a few excellent ways to use Focusmate:
- Get up on time in the morning: Book a session to start every workday
- Blast through the afternoon lull: Book a session every day after lunch
- Get an extra hour out of your day: Book a session for the last hour of your day when you’re not always reliable
- Limit unplanned work breaks: When you schedule back-to-back 50-minute sessions, you’ll get a 10-minute break each time---the perfect amount to stretch, hydrate, refuel, and then get back to work
In sum: by using Focusmate throughout your workday, you’ll get more done in less time.
Many of our most productive users schedule sessions during every free hour in their schedule!