Have you ever noticed how sometimes you naturally work at a highly productive rate, while other times you struggle to stop scrolling on social media on your phone? I don’t know how many times I have sat at home with my computer open, ready to work, and for some reason an ongoing loop of Dr. Phil and The Big Bang Theory clips cycling on my facebook feed keeps me distracted for potentially hours. It might sound crazy that I can be distracted for that long, but many of you can probably relate at some level to this same problem. These are the times that I find myself packing up my work, getting into the car, and heading to a coffee shop to jump start my productivity.
The Downfall of Routine
Our brains respond positively to routine. And while having a solid routine takes away from the chaos in life that can distract from productivity, there is an element of strategic change that actually boosts your motivation to work well. A change in your environment can be huge in affecting your productivity. When I tell people I “work from home” what I actually mean is “I work from wherever I want to.” Typically, “wherever I want” is almost always a coffee shop. My brain connects my time at home with doing at home things like making food, relaxing, playing with my dogs, sleeping, etc. There are some days that it is difficult to go from waking up in the morning, to making breakfast, to actually working well, but a change in my location or routine is often the factor that really gets me going.
The Creative Factor
Our environments shape us because we tend to respond to our environment by following suit. Sociologists have been trying to figure out exactly why humans are likely to so quickly adapt to our surroundings, but regardless of the reasons, we can use our human nature to our own advantage. Coffee shops are often designed with two purposes in mind: 1) To serve incredible coffee and snacks and 2) To create an environment that is designed for people to thrive socially and creatively. This is why you often see local artists hang their work and why people often have meetings at a coffee shop. The environment was made for people to create and be productive. It also doesn’t hurt that there is an endless supply of caffeine and wifi, allowing you to literally never have to stop when you get on a roll. Just like I associate my home with relaxing and comfortability because that is how I designed that environment to be, my routine has shaped my association with coffee shops with working and being productive and creative because that is the designed intention of that environment.
I love knowing that when I need to be productive, I can easily count on finding a local coffee shop that is designed to help me get my work done. I look forward to sipping on a beautifully crafted latte, snacking on an in store baked muffin, and listening to instrumental jazz on my headphones. This is how I am most productive, and I just can’t create this same environment at home with ease. Try it out! I promise you will find yourself going back every time you need to meet that looming deadline.