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A [email protected] Review – Does Focus At Will Work?

A Focus@will Review – Does Focus At Will Work?

To start with, let me say that I am biased against [email protected] I was biased as soon as I was exposed to their claims on their website, before I tried their service, and before I received the data from our research team. I will try to be as level and balanced as possible, but that doesn’t change the fact that this company ruffles my petticoat. [email protected] offer access to 50 diverse channels of music that have thousands of hours of unique tracks. The company says that you may increase your productivity by listening to their wordless music tracks. On the website itself, there are currently audio files that demonstrate the types of music and sounds that the company offers. You do not have to sign in to access the files, nor do you have to download them, you may try them by clicking on them and waiting. Or, depending upon the technology you are using to access the website, you may hold your mouse cursor over the tracks to hear samples of them playing.

The company claims to have commissioned the tracks themselves. The tracks were created based on a template system. The meaning or gist of the template system is visually represented in the image below.

Focus at Will template chart

According to their “Research,” the music changes over the course of 90 minutes. They figured out when most people lose concentration and when they start to become distracted. The company broke their research data into phases, and the music works in a way that tries to keep you away from distractions based on the times when you are most likely to be distracted. This phase system forms the basis of their template. They commission music mixers to create soundtracks based on the phase template. There are now thousands of hours of unique tracks that have the phase template at their core.

What Put Me Off Of [email protected] Personally?

There are three things that put me off [email protected] when I first visited their website, after I tried it personally, and after our research team tried it. One is is the claim you see on their home page as soon as you visit. It says, “Instantly 4x Your Productivity.” The other thing is their claim that they offer “Scientifically Engineered Music Proven to Increase Focus And Reduce Distractions.” Thirdly, I have a problem with this service because I wanted it to work, but it is just another promise with a shiny package that relies heavily on the placebo effect to work, and/or relies on the fact that you have not previously tried playing wordless music as you work.

“Instantly 4x Your Productivity”

The “Instantly 4x Your Productivity” claim is the first thing that grinds my gears. It is annoying on the same level as e-books that say, “Increase your sexual appeal x4” or “Secrets To Make You A 4x Better Writer.” The claims seem specific, but they are so vague, and they address such a vague issue that you can claim almost anything.

For example, I can increase your sexual appeal with two secrets right now. You should bathe more, and wear nicer/cleaner clothes. There you go, two tips that will definitively make you more sexually appealing. Here are two tips to make you a better writer: you should only proofread at the very end of your work instead of proofreading as you go, and you shouldn’t have the TV on while you write. There you go, you are now a 4x better writer.

The “Instantly 4x Your Productivity” claim is very powerful, but it is so vague that you can give any piece of token common-sense advice and then make a similar claim. Just to hammer this point home, I have listed a few things you can do tomorrow to become more productive. I mentioned that I am biased against this company, but when [email protected] starts their website with such a bold and seemingly powerful claim, I feel it is my duty to tear it down for what it really is.

  • Build positive daily habits that force you to work
  • Take short breaks before you need them
  • Learn about your Circadian rhythm and time yourself
  • Make your plans the night before
  • Leave your place of work for lunch
  • Put your goal in front of you while you work
  • Eliminate all distractions
  • Set self-imposed deadlines
  • Quit multi-tasking
  • Use your commuting time productively
  • Get started any way you can
  • Work in 90-minute intervals

Let me firstly say that all of these work for a while, but their power dies away and stops working after a while. The same is true for [email protected]

One of their music/file channels sounds like drum & bass with a little bit of Trance in there, and I liked it, and ergo I could work better with it on. But, just like when I used to listen to that sort of music on YouTube, it quickly stopped working after a few days. After a few days, even with the music playing, I was as productive as I was before I started listening to the music.

All of the tips in the list above are good tips, and they all work for a while (lengths vary), but none of them offer a permanent way to maintain your productivity. Sadly, you are a far more complex animal than most realize, which means one (or a handful) of ideas, tips and techniques will make you work more productively over the long term. The same is true for the music solution that [email protected] offers. If it works for you at all, then it will not work forever. On the other hand, if you try it and it does work for you over the long term, then maybe this was the final piece of the puzzle you were missing.

“Scientifically Engineered Music Proven to Increase Focus And Reduce Distractions.”

Oh Chips And Egg, This Line Bothers Me Too. Religious people hate it when others use the name of god as a way of selling themselves with lines such as, “God wanted me to be right here, right now.” I feel the same about people’s misuse of god’s name, and I feel the same about people’s misuse of the words “Scientifically.”

Science is not a thing, religion, or infallible object. Science is a tool, and people misuse this “Tool” all the time. Give a pigeon a perfectly working tool such as a nail gun, and it will still have trouble building your house. A child can use the scientific process, and to what degree of correctness often boils down to little more than opinion. I am not dragging down the scientific process, but remember that the field of quantitative analysis of science known as scientometrics believes in a “Half-Life Of Facts.” One of their discoveries is that half of what scientists may have known about a particular subject will be wrong or obsolete within 45 years.

I am not even complaining that [email protected] have a poor scientific study, and I am not complaining about their results or conclusions. I am complaining about their use of the word “Scientifically” being used in such a blasé and powerful way. For example, I have scientific proof that jamming a carrot up your nose will stop the blood flow from a nose bleed, but I wouldn’t suggest you do it just because I invoked the word “Scientific.” Plus, remember that the results of studies, especially in this field, are so open to interpretation that I could probably use them to prove Helium is a god particle. There is a reason why the average psychology degree only lasts five years before a large chunk of what was taught within the degree is seemingly obsolete.

I Wanted It To Work

Despite their big marketing claims about scientific proof, at the end of the day it is a service that sells subscriptions to music tracks that have no words. I am not going to go out on a limb and say that their scientific phase template is incorrect because I could probably repeat their results. I could also run the same test and disprove their results too.

The psychological processes behind productivity, motivation and willpower are so complex that we as humans still cannot understand them, (even if we have convinced ourselves that we have). No matter what you read on the subject, just give it a few more years and it will be disproven because the psychological processes behind productivity, motivation and willpower are so complex.

I was hoping that their music would work for me. There were quite a few channels that I found distracting. As I said earlier, there is a music/file channel that sounds like drum & bass with a little bit of Trance, and I found that I could work to that music. I couldn’t work to the sound of the others because I found them too distracting, but listening to the water one was okay while I was trying to get to sleep. On this occasion, when it comes to choice of music, you have to remember two things. Firstly, I am writing, so my music choice has to suit that choice of work. Secondly, my tastes in music or background noise will differ from yours. A noisy cafe isn’t suitable for me because I find it distracting, but a security guard watching a camera may find the noises help to keep him or her more alert.

The psychological processes behind productivity are so complex that a single answer, such as the one offered by [email protected], is simply not going to work as a lasting solution. If you try the service, there is a good chance that you will enjoy the music and you may even enjoy the associated placebo effect, but there is no guarantee that it will increase your productivity and keep it up over the long term.

What Do Other People Think About [email protected]

[email protected] have invested a lot of money into their product, so you are going to see quite a few reviews online, both professional reviews and user reviews that have been paid for. For example, one piece of evidence in this matter is that there are over 100 reviews of it on Amazon, and only a handful are from verified purchases. [email protected] are not big offenders in this area. They probably figure that if they get a few positive reviews out there that real ones will follow. It is manipulative and it is cheating, but it is almost common practice in this day and age.

People seem to be underwhelmed by the service. People don’t appear to hate it, but there are very few lovers of the [email protected] service. Here is a quick snapshot of what some people thought.

Focus at Will user reviews from amazon

There is a good chance that the placebo effect will sustain you for a few weeks and even a few months. With that in mind, it may be worth trying a subscription. Just remember that if you try the free trial, then you have to cancel it within their trial period or you will be charged for your subscription.

Some tout the benefits of [email protected] by saying “You just can’t ignore science,” but as I stated earlier, science is a tool, it is a process, it is not proof in itself of anything. Science doesn’t know everything because if it did…it would stop.

Conclusion – I don’t Know, I Just Don’t Know

I am having a really hard time recommending this service to you. What bothers me most is their scientific claims. The results they claim and the interpretation of their results are very off-putting to me. Psychology and productivity are areas where it is very easy to draw the conclusions you want. Even though they have scientifically proven that their music helps people to concentrate, you have to remember that “So do a lot of things.” There is very little evidence to suggest that this form of “Productivity” tool has any staying power (lastablity). In many cases, when you have bought into an idea that something will work, it tends to work for a little while until you become sick of it because of the placebo effect.

If you swear by this service and claim it has increased your productivity fourfold, then good for you and you should continue using it. I just can’t see it myself. I have listened to a range of different song mixes via YouTube, and I feel the same types of productivity benefit that I felt when I tried [email protected] In fact, if I like the music, I start to enjoy my work more and the music becomes more effective. Just so long as the music doesn’t have words, I feel a productivity benefit.

Maybe [email protected] is the key to your ultimate productive self, but I cannot recommend it on the basis that it may work for you. If you fancy a little background noise that doesn’t have words in it, then give [email protected] a try. Otherwise, take their claims with a high degree of skepticism. If you are looking for the ultimate key to unlocking your most productive self, you probably won’t find it with [email protected]

If you would like a more in-depth review of [email protected], then PC magazine offer a fairly even-handed review of [email protected]. The fact that their review is so balanced, suggests that they were not paid for their review, nor is their writer as annoyed by the company as I am. It may help you decide if you wish to try [email protected] if you are still on the fence at this point.

About The Author

Ash The Great

After a varied career in different industries from the hospitality industry to the financial consultancy industry, Ash now spends his days working as a professional writer.


  1. Philippe Back

    I have been using the service since its inception. I have taken the lifetime subscription when it first appeared.

    Bottom line, it translated in tens of thousands of dollars cold cash in what it allowed me to achieve.

    I need to focus for hours and hours at a time when it comes to programming, writing specifications, and understanding complex material.

    It is not unusual for me to set the meter at 240 minutes and work through it all without a break.

    So, works for me.

    I have not been paid for this review.

  2. peter.heinicke

    I have been using it for years and have begun to get tired of it. It seemed to help a lot at first, but now I think I know all the tunes that are in the various channels I like and it gets boring. I had a problem with Pandora in that the lyrics tended to distract me.


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