Do you enjoy working from a coffee shop? Every so often I like to spend a few hours somewhere fresh to spark some creativity and also just get out of the damn house. For someone who works from home all day, every day, I find these trips to be really important for my sanity. However, I think it definitely takes a little effort to do it the right way. I was someone who worked from home occasionally so I got into a really good habit of holding myself accountable and getting work done even if it’s from the comfort of my couch. I did this a few ways, and they’re all relevant to staying productive while at a coffee shop as well. So whether your office let’s you step away to the cafeteria to work, or work from home. Or if you’re a work from home kind of person but want a change of scenery, here’s how to stay productive at coffee shops.
How To Stay Productive At Coffee Shops
1. Make A List
Personally making a list is essential for me. But when working from home or at a coffee shop, it’ll be helpful to keep you on task and not get distracted by that croissant in the display. I like to make my lists manageable and a good rule of thumb is the three lists of three. Make three lists with just three things on them. Your first list should be crucial items you need to get done. The second, aren’t pressing, but could use some attention. And the last, may be longer projects that need attention later, but if you have time, you can get to.
When at a coffee shop try to focus on the most important things, or a particular project you want to complete. Sometimes it’s that act of stepping away from your usual surroundings that can help spark ideas and creativity. So I sometimes like to go to a coffee shop solely to write blog posts. This post came about while writing other content at a coffee shop, then I got this post idea as well.
2. Set Your Time
Either force yourself to finish that one thing, or set a few hours that you plan to be there. Having an end game is important to staying focused. If you’re just there to do whatever, then you may not do much of whatever. But if you force yourself to finish that big proposal, or write at least 5 blog posts, or be done by 4pm to miss rush hour traffic, you’ll find yourself focusing to finish.
3. Choose Great Music
You may be a silence kind of person, and if you are, get yourself some noise cancelling headphones. But if you need some noise, I like to personally listen to music ALL DAY LONG, so having my headphones helps to keep my head down and focused. I find if I don’t have my headphones in I tend to listen in on peoples conversations or just start to day dream a bit.
4. Take A Break
Whether working from a cubicle or a coffee shop, it’s important to take small breaks occasionally. At coffee shops it can be as simple as taking your headphones off and saying hi to the barista you’ve been watching make espressos for the last hour. Or simply siting back and enjoying that cup of coffee or croissant you’ve been wanting.
5. Bring A Notepad
I always have a notepad next to me at my desk, and it’s just as important even when I’m away. I usually pack mine in my laptop case so it’s handy. Sometimes being outside of your usual surroundings will spark ideas, so write them down! Or use your notepad to write your list down so you can physically cross it off. I prefer the cross shit off method as it’s much more satisfying than putting a check mark next to it in your To Do List.
Photos by Vivi Carrasco