What is focus@will?

  • Focus@will is a new neuroscience based web tool that uses phase sequenced instrumental music to increase your attention span up to 400% when working, studying, writing and reading.

Who is it for?

  • It’s for anyone who needs to be productive on demand when working to a deadline. For instance, journalists, lawyers, students, writers and coders. Research has shown it is extremely effective for 2 out of 3 people.

What problem does this solve?

  • Most people can only focus their attention for around 20 or 30 minutes at a time. Our tool helps extend this productivity cycle up to around 100 minutes.

How does it work?

  • The focus@will music stream engages your non-focal (background) attention, but not so much that it interferes with your conscious focal attention on the task at hand. This is music you hear but should not be actively listening to.
  • If a track is too bland, your subconscious will start ignoring it, and if too interesting, novel, dynamic or exciting, you will start consciously noticing it, which will distract you. Every track in our exclusive library has been remixed/re-edited and remastered to deliver the precise set of required attributes to keep you in the focus zone.
  • The patented secret sauce is how the system subtly phase sequences the stream to trick your limbic system (the fight or flight survival mechanism in the brain) into not habituating (tuning out) this focusing/anti distracting effect over time.
  • Here’s some more info about this.

What research is behind this?

  • We conducted two years of in-depth productivity research, working closely with 200 alpha participants, we commissioned a Bowker market research project with over 72,000 respondents and we continue to run trials with our favorite UCLA psychology team. Check out our Science Primer here.

How do I adjust the Timer?

  • If you are a Pro member you have access to this feature. To set the custom timer here’s what you need to do: Click and hold the timer icon. That will bring up the Timer Set box for you to enter the amount of time that you want to stay focused up to 240 minutes. If you would like to do an un-timed session, you click the timer button once to turn it grey. Clicking the timer icon again to turn it red will reactivate it.

How long does the Productivity Tracker store my data?

  • Your Productivity Tracker will store and display the last 7 days of data. Anything older than a week will not be displayed or stored.

I’ve paid for a Pro Account through iTunes but I’m still on a Personal Account when I login.

  • Occasionally this happens on iTunes created accounts, so we’ve implemented an easy fix right into the app for you.
    Please go to the account settings on your mobile app.
    You access the account page by clicking the button with the three parallel bars (or a left swipe).
    Please find “already Subscribed with your iTunes account?”
    Click the “Restore Your Subscription” link.
    After clicking that link your Pro account should be set up properly to use across all devices and computers.
  • How do I change my password?

    • Click Sign In at the top of the home page.
      Click the Orange Sign In with Email button
      Click the small red Forgot Password link.
      An email with a password reset link will be mailed to you.
      Follow instructions on that email to reset your password.

    How much does it cost?

    • There are 2 levels of accounts, Personal (free) and Pro (paid). Free Personal accounts have limited functionality and can only access a timed 60 minute music session that then repeats in each channel.
      Yes, you will hear the same exact music again each time you log on with a free account!
    • Paid Pro accounts have access to the entire music library, and all personalizing features such as adjusting the session timer, running in non-timed mode and fine tuning the energy level for your individual brain type to get up to an hour extra focused time per day. Click here for more information about the different types of accounts.

    What’s the best way to use the system?

    • Start the music player when you begin a task you need to focus on. The phase sequence of music played is designed to help get you in the zone, and then keep you in the zone for up to 100 mins. Note that most people need a break after this amount of time concentrating. For maximum effect, stop the music when you take a break and restart when you pick up your work again.

    Is there an optimal volume setting?

    • Yes. We recommend setting the volume just above the ambient noise level, ie if you can hear traffic, or your neighbors chatting, or general sounds if you are say in a coffee shop. Generally, set the volume some what lower than listening to music for entertainment purposes.

    What does the Skip button do?

    • When you click the Skip button, we won’t play you this piece of music again, EVER. The idea behind focus@will is that you should not be conscious of individual music tracks. It’s all about a seamless music stream that runs in the background. So, if you actively notice a track it means that your subconscious mind found it distracting and you should Skip it. This is how to teach the system to work best for you…

    Do you have an affiliate program?

    • Yes we do. Learn more about the program here. We run our affiliate business through Shareasale, and you can sign up for an account on our dedicated account page.

    What’s the difference between focus@will and say Pandora, Spotify or say Rhapsody?

    • Internet music services such as Pandora, Spotify and Rhapsody are entertainment companies. They take existing music and create new ways for consumers to access it. Focus@will, however is fundamentally different. We are not an entertainment company – we are a productivity tool company. We provide a new additional service you use to get stuff done better.

    Does this work for other activities, like say music for dinner parties, or dancing?

    • Focus@will is designed to help you be more productive when doing specific goal oriented tasks. Research shows it works best at an individual level per user over a series of 100 minute cycles. We recommend you only use the service when you need to focus and get something done. We know we have some cool music in the system, but we have found that if you only use us for productivity enhancement over time a Pavlovian conditioning effect starts to kick in and the effectiveness of the system increases significantly. This is because your brain is now associating the focus@will music with the action of concentrating. If you use us for general entertainment music purposes such as when you’re hanging out or dancing, you dilute this effect.

    But you are a music company too, right?

    • Yes, but we’re actually a new kind of hybrid tech/music company. We’re a productivity tool company with an award winning San Francisco based software engineering team and a Los Angeles based music label with an exclusive library of highly curated material. Our adaptive audio playback software uses artificial intelligence to deliver you the perfect playlist that gets you and keeps you in the concentration sweet spot, based on what you are doing. It’s clever stuff.

    Why can’t I choose what tracks I want to play?

    • Focus@will is all about “set it and forget it”! Choose your music genre, hit play and get on with doing other stuff. Each track is scientifically selected and delivered to you by our cloud servers based on where you are in a productivity cycle and what you are doing. Dynamically creating these individual music playlists is a key part of the attention focusing technology. Remember to use the Skip button to teach the channels which tracks you find distracting.

    How do I cancel my subscription?

    • To cancel your subscription:
      On a mobile app:
      Access the Account Details section by left swiping or using the three bar button. Click Edit Account. Click Cancel Subscription
      On the web:
      Access the Account Details section by clicking the triangle in the grey box near your email on the music page. Click Edit My Account. Click Cancel Subscription

    Who helped you get this off the ground?

    • We couldn’t have done this without a whole bunch of people who invested money and time, gave us advice and general support, went way above the call of duty and were there on the end of the phone late nights listening to our inane ramblings about wanting to change the world one focused person at a time. We thank you: Karen Pritzker and Michael Vlock, David Austin, Jonathan Bulkeley, Ethan Jacks, Reese Jones, Rob Nail, Jason Kirtley, Jeff Straw, Salim Ismail, Evian Gordon, Bernie Groves, Bob Greig, Michael Terpin, Kiril Dobrovolsky, Cindy Charles, Heather Rafter, Jessica Fajfar, Dave Conry, Ian Esten, the kick ass team at Solid Interactive (Travis McHattie, Peter Ajtai, Alex Reynolds and Jessie McCabe), Chris Adams, Peter McCabe, Josh Gabriel, John Metcalfe, David Mann, Dr Kirsten Sanford, Naomi Rosestone, David Bergeaud, Mat Henshall, Bryce Young, Steve Hermosillo, Dave Lebolt, Ken Rutkowski and we’ve surely forgotten someone…