I have been trying working from cafe for the past couple of weeks. Since I have a day job saving the planet on weekdays, I wanted to try working from a coffee shop on the weekends. I have few side projects like my podcast, blog etc. I wanted to try working on these over the weekends.
I must say that it has been a good decision so far. I am of the kind that gets distracted unless I am in an environment with constraints. By constraints I mean that if I have ample resources available, I end up procrastinating. But if I have limited time or limited freedom, I end up being very productive.
This is why cafe working suits my working style. I like getting things done early during the day. This is because usually you cannot predict how the day goes in spite of best of your plans. So it is safe to finish important tasks in the morning. For this reason, I tend to wake up early on weekends as well and head out to the cafe right around the opening time.
My favourite cafe is The Roastery which is around 10 mins drive from my house on a weekend. I say “on a weekend” because the traffic is generally less on weekends. I love this place because not only do they serve the best coffee in the town, but they have great ambience as well. Soft jazz music, that lovely smell of coffee and sparkling clean interiors. Perfect combination.
I reach around 10:00 am at the cafe and take my laptop and phone with me and nothing else. I do not try to find a charging port for my laptop. So when my battery percentage goes down on the screen, I am forced to do my work or else run out of charge. This is the part of the “constraint” that mentioned earlier.
Also being in the coffee house, I do not have access to things that might distract me at home, my couch for example. Since I have to make most of my time there, I remain focused. Also, cafe provides a good change of scenery. Sometimes I am more productive when I am away from my desk working from a new place.
There are other people who come to the cafe to get things done as well which motivates me to do the same. They all seem focused, except few teenagers who come only to hang out which is fine! Biggest advantage is that I can order amazing coffee anytime.
If you are planning to work from a cafe, here are some of the things to keep in mind:
Have a plan: Decide beforehand what you plan is. How much time are you going to spend in cafe? What different tasks are you going to do? Do you have enough money to pay for the coffee. Kidding! But it is a good idea to plan out the work. If you are generally a planning kind of a person then you’d face no problems.
Understand the rules: Before you settle down for work, try to understand the rules of the coffee house. Do they let you sit down long after your coffee has disappeared? Are you being too chatty and bothering others? Are you following the coffee shop etiquette?
Internet: Internet and wifi might not be available in all the coffee places. So it is safer to have the data plan activated on your phones. If you need internet for your work, tether your phone to your laptop. Free wifi is not yet a thing you see much around, not at least in India.
Stretch: If you are doing a long stint at a coffee shop, ensure that you stretch your spine once in a while. Get up and order some coffee, walk up and down couple of times, something.
Well, working coffee shops are fun. It may or may not work for you but sure do give it a try. I love it!