Creativity is Just a Coffee Shop Away

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As much as I love working from my home office (working in your pajamas has its perks), there are times when I simply can’t do it. I don’t know if it’s the fact that I can see our backyard pool from my office window, but there are just times when I cannot, for the life of me, stay focused on the task at hand. That’s when my local coffee shop comes in handy. Why? Well, for starters the coffee is far better than what I brew, and the atmosphere simply can’t be beat. Here at five reasons why work-at-home women should spend more time at their local cafe.

Five Reasons Your Local Coffee Shop is Better Than Your Home Office


People

Seriously, you need to talk to someone other than your cat in order to keep your creative juices flowing and avoid going crazy. Coffee shops are the central meeting ground for practically everyone. From CEOs to students, everyone stops at the local cafe to grab a muffin and chat about the weather. Networking is easy because the setting is neutral and there are absolutely no expectations. Simply say “hello” to the person in the booth next to you – who knows, they could be your next client.


White Noise

Silence is distracting, especially when you’re trying to work on an important task. If you’re home office sounds more like a tomb than a productive workspace – get out! Your local coffee shop is full of comforting noises that can help you settle down and stay focused. From the coffee grinders to the clink of silverware, these subtle noises combine to create a background of soothing white noise. Stuck sitting beside the town chatterbox? Don’t forget your headphones – slip them on and not only will she realize you’re not listening, but it will also help drown out some of the more abrasive noises, even if you don’t turn any music on.


Food for thought

If there’s one thing that drives my husband nuts about my home office, it’s probably the fact that I forget to eat whenever I’m working on a big project. I just know that if I leave my desk for 20 minutes to make a sandwich it will take me twice as long to get my mind back on track and into the groove again. When I’m at the coffee shop, I always remember to eat… who could resist! From pastries and cookies, to salads and soups, there’s always a fast, fresh alternative waiting for me behind the counter. And while it’s probably not benefiting my waistline any, eating regularly does help me stay focused and on task. Plus it benefits the establishment that I’m working at. The owners are kind enough to let me use their WiFi, the least I can do is order one of their triple fudge caramel brownies… or maybe two.


Inspiration

A change of scenery can do wonders for entrepreneurs in need of a little inspiration. Snippets of overheard conversation can sometimes lead to major breakthroughs, often at the least expect moments. The next time you’re at your local cafe, close your computer and simply watch what’s happening in the shop. From the friendly cashier, to the bird that’s nesting just inside the doorway, there’s bound to be something that strikes a chord with you.


Options

Most towns have more than one WiFi equipped cafe. Even in my little rural neighborhood we have a few. Make sure you take the time to test out a handful of establishments in your area, and always remember to occasional switch things up. You’re sure to find one that’s your favourite (those triple fudge caramel brownies are pretty hard to resist) but each will have its own unique effect on your mood, creativity, and productivity. You may find that one location is great for keeping you motivated, while another is perfect for days when you just want to take things slow and steady.

What’s your favorite coffee shop to work in and why? Leave a comment to let us know!

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11 thoughts on “Creativity is Just a Coffee Shop Away

  1. These tips are so true. In fact, I schedule myself to work outside the home at least two days per week. This keeps me on my toes and – for days where I’m working way too many hours – keeps me in touch with real people.

    I do use a MiFi, so, for me, anyplace is a virtual “office”. Except for the local Pollo Tropical – because there’s only two outlets in the place and they’re both on the ceiling. Not ideal when I’m pulling an all-dayer out of home.

  2. I appreciate this article very much! I don’t drink coffee, but you are absolutely right, there’s nothing better for getting those creative juices flowing like changing the scenery and getting out around others. Thanks for the reminder – we all need to change our surroundings every now and then to help our creativity come to the surface.

  3. I was just in a coffee shop yesterday wondering why I don’t do it more often. Working from home can be great for convenience, solid internet and access to what you need, but if eating while typing is deemed an unhealthy habit (like I’m doing now) and not leaving the table for long periods, then yes a cafe is a great option!

    That said if you are working from home have some music on that revs you up. I can never sit in silence, plus regular Skype calls make for lots of social opportunities and great discussions.

  4. I really loved this post…and love the fact that working from home allows you to grab your laptop and take off somewhere to get out of the house. The library can be a nice quiet place to go and often has internet connection, but you’ll probably have to leave your coffee at home.

  5. Love the idea of getting to know the owners of the coffee shop. By patronizing their business, they could be doing the same for you! Personally, I have a hard time concentrating if it isn’t dead quiet, but sometimes the change of scenery doesn’t spark new ideas. Giving yourself a time limit is a good thing too. This way you don’t get sidetracked and you’re more focused on the task at hand.

  6. so true. i may a little extra each month for tea (I don’t so coffee) but it means I can focus on the task instead of being distracted by the pile of laundry…or the pile of papers.

    I really like my local Barnes ‘n Noble. They have good quality tea and free wifi. Sometimes I work in the Cambridge/Somerville area, and I head to Darwin’s. Fantastic cozy atmosphere and also has wifi….so does Tealuxe, for that matter.

  7. I thought I was the only one who found silence distracting! I love the steady buzz of a coffee shop, and in Waterloo, I often gravitate to my local Williams coffee shop. I found that I focus more on the work at hand, rather than getting up to take care of chores around the house, or finding any distraction to write a difficult piece.

    Great article!

  8. Great article, and so true! I ALWAYS forget to eat when I’m working at home. Either that or I just keep “putting it off” until I finish one last thing, then before i know it, it’s dinnertime and I haven’t even thought about what to cook.

  9. Great article, and so true! I ALWAYS forget to eat when I’m working at home. Either that or I just keep “putting it off” until I finish one last thing, then before i know it, it’s dinnertime and I haven’t even thought about what to cook.

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