There are several reasons a laptop nomad may seek refuge at the nearest coffee shop. They have chill tunes, the best coffee beans, and delicious snacks to keep you energized.
While the distractions there are different from the ones at work or home, they can still affect your productivity. Here are five tips for staying in the zone and maintaining focus in a coffee shop.
1. Pick A Popular Working Spot
In addition to being plug-in spots for the laptop workforce, coffee shops are caffeine fueling stations, social hangouts, date destinations, and spots for parents to gather with their kids. So, choose your coffee shop wisely. Ask around for the best working coffee shop, and surround yourself with like-minded professionals.
This will help you feel at ease as you cart your gear in and pick your spot. When you arrive, stake out the best seat in a quiet spot near a power plug. If you’re easily distracted, pick a boring view.
2. Silence Any Distractions
If you’re like most modern adults, you probably brought your phone to the coffee shop. It may even be your wifi backup. Though it’s an essential accessory, don’t let it distract you from your work goals.
Turning off notifications and putting it on silent mode may not be enough. Out of sight truly is out of mind when it comes to your smartphone, so tuck it away in your laptop bag.
Once you’ve opened your laptop, be sure to stay off social media. The endless scroll soaks up far more time than most of us realize, and the temptation to “just check one thing” can lead to a twenty-minute rabbit hole.
Café ambiance is great, but sometimes, it’s too difficult to hear clearly with all the background noise. Bring your favorite pair of headphones and pipe in your own productivity-inducing music.
3. Eat, Drink, and Be Merry!
If you’re a foodie, choose a café with creative seasonal lattes and homemade baked goods. No reasonable human can sit in that delicious environment and ignore the stimulating and delightful smells.
Treat yourself as soon as you arrive and before you get settled. Waiting any longer will only distract you from your work. If the line is long, secure your spot first with a jacket or notebook – then hop in line!
4. Set A Time Limit
Let’s be honest. You can’t sit at the coffee shop for eight hours and expect to get eight hours’ worth of work done. Plus, it’s important to be considerate of other customers who might appreciate your table.
Before you settle into your spot, have a clear idea of exactly what you’re there to accomplish. Give yourself a dedicated amount of time to be there, and focus on the tasks at hand. Two to three hours is a good middle-ground for maximum efficiency. Take regular breaks to enjoy the scenery, top off your drink, or check out the merch.
5. Leverage Productivity Tools
You can find a tool for nearly anything online these days. Whether it’s tracking your time, automating your accounts payable, or even setting your thermostat remotely so the house is at your ideal temperature when you get home.
Toggl is an excellent free option for tracking your work time. Slack can help you collaborate remotely with your colleagues, and PhoneTag is brilliant if you’re the type to do some networking at your local coffee shop. Find the right tools to support your remote working needs, and you can look forward to plenty of productivity.
Use the tips above to enjoy a productive and distraction-free coffee shop work session.