Friday, December 27, 2013

Coffeshop Productivity

Saw this article on FastCompany...could not agree more.  Working at a coffee shop can be a very productive experience.  After you read the article, I have a few tips of my own.

I find that I get a lot done/minute spent at a coffee shop.  Here in beautiful Bucks County, PA I have the option of a very trendy Starbucks or a Dunkin' Donuts across the street.  Both have access to WiFi and both provide some advantages and disadvantages.  If I plan on staying for more than an hour I prefer the Dunkin' Donuts.

Similar to the author's experience I find working in the coffee shop very productive sometimes.  The noise becomes white noise and the unfamiliarity of voices and conversations prevents me from losing focus.

Here are my tips for working in a coffee shop:

  1. Have a plan.  Pick a task that is well defined and can be done in a reasonable amount of time.   You'll find you're able to complete the task faster than you had anticipated, giving you more time to review your work and make any changes necessary.  Whether it's an email, a marketing piece, or a piece of code you need to create a mental plan of the work and have at it.
  2. Time box your stay.  Decide to park your butt for at least an hour and try to stick to the time frame.  This helps move your task along and allows you to get on with the rest of the day.
  3. Don't bring anything more than your laptop.  No papers, pens or other gadgets.  Leave your phone in the car. 
  4. Try not to multitask.  You came for one purpose, do your best to stick with it.  Turn off the email client if you can (unless you're there to clear your inbox).
  5. Less is more.  Don't make it a habit, make it an event.  A smaller number of events, each very productive will allow you to internalize the experience as producing successful outcomes.
  6. Large black or Americano.  A little stimulation to aid the creative juices.

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