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Taylor's Playground: Intentional Focusmate


‘’When we take care of our nervous system on a consistent basis, we feel safe. That’s when we can be most productive and focused.” After this conversation with Taylor, founder of Focusmate, I paused and slowed down my plans for this month. We talked about self-acceptance, lions and notifications and what really matters 👇

You are time travelling and meet your-6-year-old-self at a Playground. He asks you: What is Focusmate? What did you make?

Focusmate is a group of people from all over the world who have the desire to follow through on things that are important to them. When we feel stressed, it can be hard to slow down and connect with what we most wish to do. Often, as adults, we do things automatically and waste a lot of time being unmotivated in that mode. But when you find somebody that you can sit down with, on a video call, and keep each other company while you work, it helps change that. You become more intentional about how you spend your time. That’s what Focusmate is for.

Take us back to the first day, when first people joined. What was it like?

Before Focusmate had a name, it was a Facebook group. I invited people and shared the idea. You could feel they were really excited to be there. Maybe also a bit nervous, because it is pretty vulnerable to ask for that kind of support, to meet somebody new, and to kind of expose yourself. On the first day there were around 20 people, and we posted instructions on how to support each other using the Focusmate format. Then we asked them to share in the group when they wanted to work. If someone wanted to team up with them, they would respond. When I look back I can see, although they were a bit nervous, that it was exhilarating to make the leap and discover how good it feels to both have and give that kind of support.

What do you do when you don't feel like working?

When I don’t feel like working, I don't work. What I do is try to take care of my nervous system. For example, if I’m feeling very agitated, I need to find a way to express some of that aggressive energy for eg. through excercise. Or I might need something that helps me relax and rest, such as meditation or sleep.

When we take care of our nervous system on a consistent basis, our bodies feel safer. It shifts blood flow into the brain which helps us focus and be more productive.

Could you share a productivity tip?

I genuinely believe Focusmate is the best tool for productivity. One of the biggest reasons we don't follow through on our desires is because our nervous system is dysregulated.

We live in a society where we’re constantly exposed to stress and our bodies are just not designed for it. It’s true that our bodies are equipped to handle occasional severe danger, but today we are ‘chased’ constantly by things like our emails and notifications. So, even though there isn't technically a lion chasing us, our bodies feel that threat. In contrast, when we shift into a state of safety, the blood flows into our brain and creates a state where we can be creative.

The reason why Focusmate works so well is it creates a safe and structured environment. Instead of being in fight or flight mode, you can be relaxed, focused and intentional.

What was the turning point for the growth of your business?

I don't really believe in turning points. I believe more in thousands or even millions of steps. Something might look like a turning point, but what makes the real difference are all the small steps building up to create that impact.

What do you think the world needs more of today?

We need more self-acceptance and humility. I see humility as the capacity to see ourselves through a loving and accepting lens.

If we can do that, then we become more humble, we see our own humanity, our ‘flaws’ and really listen to ourselves. Otherwise, we are projecting our fears and pain onto the world. If we have a really loving acceptance for ourselves, from that place we can look at and work with our pain directly and it is less likely we will continue to harm others or the planet.

P.S. Focusmate is also a great addition to our Playground program because it helps you book and ‘block’ time to work on your task whenever you want. Learn more about and try Focusmate today.

*Disclaimer: The answers are paraphrased and not direct quotes.


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