December 6, 2019

Procrastinating hard on something? Hire a ‘babysitter’ to hold you accountable

A new startup called Focused gives distracted workers a place to get their sh*t done -- and also a series of check-ins every 20 minutes to ensure they stay on task

Is there something you’ve been meaning to do for, well, like, ever? Would you pay someone to make sure you get it done? 

Meet Focused. As Wired reported this week, the Bay Area startup charges $40 for a 2 ½ hour “deep work” session. It starts with a short consultation where you tell them what you want to accomplish, followed by a brief meditation. You then get after it in their “distraction-free” space, and they check in on you every 20 minutes to make sure you’re on task.

The vibe is less like answering to a drill sergeant…

… and more like telling your goals to a supportive friend and asking her to hold you accountable. The founders’ take is that we likely can’t do everything we want to do alone and that having another human around to hold our hand (and hide our phone) helps.

The founders, Nodira Khoussainova and Lee Granas, launched Focused several months ago and now hold a handful of sessions each week in their SF and Oakland spaces. 

The pair met at Burning Man, which kinda explains the pre-work meditation practice.

And this idea isn’t completely novel, either

Focusmate offers similar services, and Get-it-Done Group and Go Fucking Do It are in the same vein, but those are all virtual. The allure of Focused seems to be the human aspect — actually going to a place to get your sh*t done and communicating face-to-face with a supportive human.

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