Why I Love Working At Coffee Shops 4

When I started college, I worked at a lot of coffee shops, because I couldn’t concentrate while living at home. So, over the years, I’ve become very use to working out of coffee shops and being productive there. Friends ask me why I work out of them all the time and they are usually confused. I especially love when people ask, “isn’t it distracting with all the people and the noise?”

Distractions are all over the place

As if you don’t check Facebook, Twitter, and the many other non-productive things that we all do on a daily basis. Isn’t that a distraction? Or, how about the occasional, “I’m just going to see what’s interesting on TV…”, right, then 2 hours later you just watched “40 year old virgin” for the 18th time, or some random variation of that.

Of course there are tons of distractions from really interesting conversations to the crazy random people. There are times where I want to pull my hair out because of the fact sdthat there is some crazy dude yelling into his cell phone, or, the group of older ladies who get together for coffee once a year and are louder than hyenas. (sorry ladies, you are!)

Again though, distractions are all over the place, even in an office environment. Coffee shops tend to have the least in my opinion. And, when it does get too distracting, music drowns everything out.

Sparking creativity

Overall, I tend to find it a very creative environment. Especially when there are other people around you doing similar things. Whenever I see groups working on websites, or writers working on a script (sure, maybe only in LA), to someone just sitting there reading a book. I tend to feed off that energy and it definitely sparks the creative juices inside me.

Talking to others really ends up getting creativity going for me. Hearing what people are working on and doing. People trying to make it in their respective industries. It really brings out the entrepreneur in me and gets me excited about even the most mundane excel spreadsheets or data entry.

A change of scenery and environment

I have self diagnosed myself with ADHD and sometimes just changing environments is all I need to calm me down. That and usually a nice cup of chamomile tea will do the trick. While I’m at a coffee shop, all of the noise, people, bustling, and music tends to calm me down a bit as well. It keeps part of my mind going rather than wondering and not staying focused, as odd as that sounds. I’ve learned this about myself and have learned to find ways to make myself more productive.

You never know who you’ll meet

I tend to always meet people while I’m at a coffee shop, I’ve met people that I’ve partnered with, industry contacts, and most recently, someone helping out with Eventify. Nina Kaufmann, one of our awesome writers I actually met at Paper or Plastik Cafe while working on the product.

Secondly, while at Paper or Plastik, I met the owner and talked to him about listing their venue on eventify. They were excited about the idea of getting more eyeballs to their studio, Mimoda Jazzo. In our next iteration of eventify, you will see the studio as a featured venue, all because of working at the coffee shop.

Coffee shops aren’t for everyone, but they are for me

I know that not everyone is productive or likes to work at a coffee shop. Find places that can help your productivity and break up your day from being mundane and boring. I think all that matters is that when you get into a rut, you find a way to re-energize yourself, even if it means talking a walk, going out for lunch, etc. For me, coffee shops work, and they might for you too!

If you like working at coffee shops, tell me your experiences and whether it has helped you be more productive? You’ve met anyone interesting? Or, if you just plain hate it! If you haven’t, give it a shot and let me know how you like it!

4 thoughts on “Why I Love Working At Coffee Shops

  1. Reply Marshall Stevenson Sep 5, 2011 7:50 am

    Great post Tony. I wrote something a few months back very similar at http://www.sprydesign.com/blog/starbucks-virtual-office/ about working Starbucks. While not quite the same vibe likely as your local shop, I have to agree with every point above in your post. Now I work in an office and my coffee shop exposure is limited to maybe 10 minutes a day…most of it standing in line. I think I need to change that. I miss it. It’d be awesome one day to connect in a coffee shop with you. Keep up the great work and writing.

    • Reply tonyadam Sep 5, 2011 5:43 pm

      Thanks Marshall! My coffee shop work comes in waves, but, I just found out that a coffee shop I use to go to in Venice got taken over by another company they are now open 24 hours…this could be a very good and very bad thing! Ha!

  2. Reply Nina Kauffman Sep 6, 2011 11:51 am

    Yay for working out of coffee shops! I agree, I’m completely unable to get anything done at home, so I always head to a coffee shop. The feeling that everyone else around me is hard at work is an excellent motivator. And I’ve noticed that at LA coffee shops especially, people are very friendly and willing to make connections. Obviously that’s how I met Tony, but I’ve made several other business contacts as well.

    As far as recommendations: Coffee Commissary, Dialogue Cafe, Cafe Om and of course, Funnel Mill (where else will they cut your cookie up into little triangles for you to snack on??).

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