Monday mania is in full swing as a new workweek rolls around, meaning it is an especially good time to head to the coffee shop, zone out, and get some work done. With our limited edition coffee sleeves making an appearance at one of my favorite coffee shops, Alfred Coffee, I’ve been thinking of ways to really be productive in a bustling environment like this, while still enjoying my morning sip—wrapped neatly in a GM coffee sleeve, of course!
For decades, coffee shops have been dubbed the place to go to get out of the office and answer some emails, all the while enjoying the warm aroma of fresh ground coffee. But, really getting work done in this environment can be a challenge, even when you fully intend to check off everything on your to-do list. So, in the spirit of celebrating my collab with Alfred Coffee, I thought I would round up a few tried and true tips to help you get the most out of your workday at your favorite corner coffee shop. So, if you live in L.A., hop over to your nearest Alfred Coffee to catch my limited edition coffee sleeve while it lasts! And no matter where you get your morning sip, make sure to put these tips to the test for a coffee shop workday that will be so productive it may surprise you…
It may seem too good to be true at first glance, but simply changing the way you think about coffee shop chatter can make a big difference in your productivity when you step through the doors. Instead of thinking of the hustle and bustle of a coffee shop as a distraction, try framing it in your mind as ambient noise that can stimulate creativity. In fact, studies show that a certain level of noise can be incredibly beneficial to creative thinking, and help you think outside the box. So next time you hit the coffee shop, try tackling your more creative tasks, and leave your spreadsheets, calendars, and number-crunching for a quieter location.
As odd as it may sound, those plush chairs surrounding a tiny table in your favorite coffee shop may be more counterproductive than you think. While it can be beneficial to nestle into your favorite comfy spot and get right to work, it can also have the opposite effect and make you drowsy or distracted (this is where those extra 30 minutes of sleep you wish you had start creeping up on you) if you get too comfortable for too long. To avoid that late morning or afternoon crash, make sure to get up and stretch your legs periodically, or move from your comfy chair to a more rigid one every now and then to keep your thoughts moving and your work going.
Sure, you’re in a coffee shop and that extra cup of coffee might be calling your name, but make sure to be mindful of your intake. While a little caffeine can help focus your mind and keep your energy levels up, having too much will make you feel buzzed and antsy—which will make the effort of working in a coffee shop your worst nightmare, and will make it nearly impossible to sit still. Know your limits, and find the line between enough caffeine to make you productive, without having too much to make you jittery.
Whether this means popping in your head phones and listening to soothing classical tunes, or turning on your favorite playlist of upbeat songs to get focused, simply find the right zone for you, and go there. If you’re heading to the coffee shop because you’re dying for a change of scenery, but you know you work well with your favorite music or audiobook in the background, then come prepared to get into that zone, instead of assuming you’ll enjoy the ambient noise of the coffee shop. This is also super important on days when your favorite corner coffee shop is suddenly busier than usual, which can quickly turn soft ambient noise into a loud distraction. Bonus Tip: Never underestimate the power of noise-cancelling headphones!
Instead of trying to tackle a mile long to-do list in a coffee shop, try shortening it to include only a handful of things that you know won’t keep you there all day. Since most shop owners don’t want customers loitering for hours on end anyway, this means you won’t become overwhelmed with your coffee shop to-do list, and the couple of hours you spend there will be more productive. While it’s important to have an organized game plan before you head into a coffee shop to work, don’t get overly ambitious and bite off more than you can chew.
Which of these tips did you find the most helpful? How do you focus to get your work done in a coffee shop?
I hope these tips prove to make your workday more productive than ever, and if you haven’t made a stop at Alfred Coffee lately, make sure to stop in before our GM coffee sleeves leave the shop for good at the end of this month.
Now, time to get back to the grind…