How to Work Effectively from a Coffee Shop [Chart]

My social media friends know how much I love coffee shops. I post pictures from Starbucks several times a week. It’s not just Starbucks though. I love any coffee shop that serves delicious, creative coffee drinks. I work from a coffee shop at least an hour a day during the week. It takes a little time to learn how to work effectively from a coffee shop. If you want to master this useful skill like a boss, this post is for you.

When I walk into a coffee shop with my laptop, I immediately think of three things. First, I buy a coffee. I don’t want to be one of those people who enjoys the free, fast Internet but doesn’t make a purchase.

Next, I scope out the perfect place to sit. I want it to be somewhat private, it needs to have a power outlet close by, and it needs to have a normal-looking person near who I can ask to watch my stuff when I need to zip to the bathroom.

Another thing I’d like to suggest is to be sure you have all of your needs taken care of before you start unpacking your bag and setting up your temporary office. In other words, look for an outlet, have your bottle of water handy, go to the bathroom, and do everything you need to do. Then you’ll be able to get settled for the long haul (an hour or two) without getting up. This will keep you on track.

If you have trouble working with distractions, it might take you a while to get the hang of working effective in a coffee shop environment. You might find it helpful to put on some headphones (use your own noise to block out the background noise). Or, just do what I do, and go into your focus-mode. Over time, you’ll be able to block out the noises around you and focus on the task you need to finish. You might find this article to be helpful – Training the Brain: How to Focus Better and Avoid Distractions.

When I found this handy chart called How to Work from Coffee Shops by Anna Vital at Funders and Founders, I knew I wanted to share it with you. It’s full of practical tips for how to work effectively in your favorite coffee shop. I hope you enjoy it. If you have some additional tips to share with us, please leave them in the comment section below.

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Photo credit: Anna Vital / Justin Brown

2 thoughts on “How to Work Effectively from a Coffee Shop [Chart]

  • April 10, 2015 at 3:02 pm
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    Spot on! These are the exact things I look for when I go to work in a cafe!

    As my main mode of communication is via video conferencing, it becomes even more difficult too find the perfect spot (though as you said, once you master the skill of scouting out a spot, you’re onto a winner)! I have to think about the background – it’s important for me to find a space that has a nice bookshelf, or a plant, or a nicely painted wall at least that isn’t too busy – and the lighting on my face – as i’m generally looking down towards my laptop, and lighting is overhead, it always works nicely if I can sit myself in front of a window!

    My final issue that i’ve learnt from coffee shop working (and the situation of having phone/video calls) is never to sit too close to the coffee machine!!! You may learn to block it out for your own benefit over time, but the sudden gush of steam when regular latte’s are flying out the door does seem to surprise/anger/scare/confuse anyone at the far end 😉

    Thanks for the blog 🙂

    Reply
    • April 19, 2015 at 7:12 pm
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      Hi Emily,
      So good to see you around – it has been a little while and I hope you’re great. 🙂
      Thanks so much for your feedback on this article. I know you’re a veteran in the field and hoped you’d drop your thoughts. 🙂

      Many thanks and have a great day!

      Reply

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