Anyone who stalks Shout Out Studio on Twitter or Facebook quickly understands that we work from coffee shops on a very, very regular basis. We meet at a coffee shop a few times a week. When we’re not working together at a coffee shop, there is usually one of our team members working individually with a coffee by our side.
Luckily we work out of Columbus, OH. Recently Columbus has received lots of love for our expanding coffee shop scene.
Coffee shops aren’t just about cool spaces and tasty grinds, it’s also about being productive. In that spirit, here are keys to helping you get work done while sipping that macchiato.
Nothing Beats a Good To-Do List
Personally I write down two or three of the most important thing I need to accomplish before I got to bed each night. That way, I’m all set to rock and roll as soon as I sit down to work. I know exactly what to do.
Not having a solid task management system can lead to being easily distracted. If you don’t tell your brain what to do, it will find something. Which leads to our next problem…
Get off Facebook!
One of the struggles with being a web marketing company is that you can quickly believe the lie that pumping out Facebook statuses all day is an effective use of your time. Same for Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter.
Resist the urge to pop onto Facebook to see what’s up. Resist the urge to scroll through your Twitter feed. Focus on that To-Do list.
When working at a coffee shop, it’s critical for me to simply shut down those windows.
Removing distractions is key. Between the grinding of beans, customers chatting and espresso being pulled it is ULTRA-EASY to get distracted in a coffee shop.
If you’re a coffee shop worker, invest in a comfortable set of headphones and a compelling playlist.
Because writing makes up a lot of my work, I end up often listening to instrumental music. Lyrics distract and interrupt my work flow. My friends who are working with design don’t have this same struggle.
Don’t Forget the Power Cord
If I had a dollar for every time I’d walked into a coffee shop and forgot my power cord, I’d be a rich man. Seeing that notification that you’re at 10% power is a great way to trip your productivity. A powerless laptop sure doesn’t help either….
One of my favorite applications to help eliminate distraction while writing is Omm Writer. Giving you a full screen writing experience, Omm Writer turns your screen in to a blank canvas. You can then copy & paste or save your work as a text file.
One way to be productive at a coffee shop is to make sure you don’t feel like you’re abandoning your team. Using tools like Skype, Google+, Podio or Asana, you’re able to stay connected to your team, tasks and projects without needing to be sitting in the same room.
If you’re going to be working from a coffee shop for two or three (or more) hours, be sure to have something to do for breaks. Feel free to pop onto your favorite social network for 10 minutes, read a book or journal. Don’t pretend that you’re going to be 100% distraction free, but tell those distractions where they’re allowed to happen.
These are just a few suggestions I’ve found for myself. Do you have anything else you’d add? If so, leave a comment telling us how you stay productive while working on coffee shops.