You can re-fashion your body through exercise or a surgeon's knife, but can you fine tune your cerebral cortex to stay alert and focused? Will Henshall, founder and CEO of Focus@Will, believes a mix of music and neuroscience can do just that.
I’m also still using Focus@will, and I love it. Its founder, a musician named Will Henshall, says it works by occupying the part of my brain that unconsciously scans my environment for danger. He does have neuroscientists advising his company, but his more simple explanation still seems more plausible. “Anything about music that people like,” he says, “is going to distract you.”
A number of studies have shown that ambient noise or music can keep you productive, and new service Focus@Will is a music service that's designed to give you the music you need to be happy and productive, not just hear something new or stream tunes that you enjoy. The entire service has been crafted from the ground up with productivity in mind.
I've always known about the ability of music to focus the ADHD brain since I started writing seriously in high school. Whenever I had a paper, essay, or story to write, I'd do it while listening to music. Not just any music: The music couldn't have words, had to have a certain tempo, had to last a while, and couldn't stop and start.
Can listening to music boost your productivity? If the tunes are optimised with the help of neuroscientists, you can increase your attention span up to four-fold, according to LA-based musician Will Henshall. The one-time pop star -- his band Londonbeat was signed to Dave Stewart's Anxious Records -- launched focus@will in 2012 to stream instrumentals that, according to UCLA research, can maximise attention.
If you find yourself getting distracted by some of your colleagues’ noisy quirks, both Thomas and Sexton recommend grabbing your headphones and turning on some tunes via the Focus@Will app and website to dampen some of the office noise.
Founder and CEO Will Henshall seems uniquely positioned to work on something like this. He founded music tech company Rocket Network and also created the audio media transfer system DigiDelivery, which he sold to Avid/Digidesign in 2003. But he’s also a professional musician and songwriter, having been one of the founding members of the band Londonbeat and one of the writers on their hit songs “I’ve Been Thinking About You” and “Come Back.”