Text by Gerardo Sierra y Betsabé Huidobro. Translated by Aramara Corona

The digital tool for those trying to focus with someone who needs company to work. Sometimes it is hard for us to be 100% focused on one thing and I remember someone once told me that 20% of your work does the other 80%. This works as long as you can stay focused on that 20%.

Before this situation it was very usual to be able to go to a cafe, a coworking space or even the business itself to be able to work on certain issues and be in the “environment” that allows you to work without distractions… Nevertheless, this year COVID-19 came to change many of our habits and ways of working.

Being in voluntary isolation (because in Mexico it’s totally voluntary), I remember that I found this website once I was searching in blogs for information about applications that help you to concentrate.

There was a great variety of apps that measure your schedule, as long as you take the time to enter the information of each thing you are doing there. Beyond seeing it as something productive, I saw it as an even bigger distraction, but with a very good excuse to make it look organized.

Searching too much on Reddit, I decided to go to the comments of one of the searches I had done and a comment that said, “Try focusmate” caught my eye. Basically the name grabbed me and I quickly searched for it. I stumbled upon a page, not an app and it was something I wasn’t initially in love with, but I wanted to give it a try.

In Focusmate any adult can access, this platform will connect you through videoconferences with strangers who become your virtual companion and can be without problem keeping you company from anywhere in the world for only 50 minutes and they change every time you have to start a session.

It was very useful for me because I was able to get a type of company that was focused in the same way as me in their tasks. In the use of the page it is recommended not to interact too much with your partner because they can become distracted; this does not mean that you don’t have to talk to each other; on the contrary, the point is to exchange goals by carrying them out.

In the user profiles, you can find professionals from any area, even creative.

Today we live in a time where everything has been changing due to the health contingency, giving a 360° turn to the conventional work schemes of companies, freelancers, creatives, artists, among others, and due to the necessary distance between people, these schemes are beginning to adapt to the way of working of all independent professionals who are not married to always having unproductive video calls (which exist). Focusmate is not a networking tool; it is a platform that helps you focus on your priorities and avoid distractions, doing things that have nothing to do with your short-term goals.