Productivity and GTD
Why to Work From Coffee Shops For Better Productivity
In today fast-paced world, productivity is the new black.
We know it’s a must-have, and we want to enhance it. We believe the more productive we are, the better. We consider productivity a measure of success. Productivity at work is what we want to achieve, but do we understand what it means?
In plain English, productivity is the amount of output per person. Employment.gov defines it as “the efficient use of resources, labor, capital, land, materials, energy, information, in the production of various goods and services.” The more you accomplish with the same resources, the more productive you are.
Today resources such as sophisticated technologies, comfortable offices, and free access to any information we need for work and self-development give everything necessary for stellar productivity. But anyway, we continue searching for magic strategies that would make us more efficient at work.
Why does it happen so?
The research from the Chartered Management Institute nailed it. They examined UK employees and found several driving forces behind poor productivity: increasing working hours, stresses at work, and “always on” work cultures.
Change a scenery and go to coffee shops. Working from there, you become more creative and productive, doing more in less time. Why? Here goes scientifically proven explanations.
You have an unlimited access to caffeine
Studies prove the positive effect of drinking coffee: it stimulates productivity, increases mood and creativity, and helps us stay more alert. And although you may take a cup of coffee in the office, coffee shops give an opportunity to choose the right amount and time for drinking it.
- Two cups per day are a golden minimum.
- The perfect time for drinking coffee is between 10 a.m. and noon, and between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m.
Don’t like coffee? No problem: order a tea or any other beverage of your mood. The smell of caffeine itself do wonders, and that caffeinated energy in the air will stimulate you to work better.
You work next to productive people
In their article for HBR.org, Jason Corsello and Dylan Minor described the research they conducted in a large technology company to examine how sitting next to particular coworkers affected performance at work. It happens that grouping the right people together improves their productivity.
This is exactly what happens to you in coffee shops. Surrounded by focused and motivated people who work hard, you start working better. Belgian researchers confirm: we put more effort into a task when we see others working around. The audience effect takes place here as well, which says that having a small audience improves performance.
You meet fewer distractions
Productivity has nothing to do with interruptions most of us have in office. Noisy colleagues, questions on both work and personal issues, and other moments of that kind will hardly make you more efficient. Multitasking doesn’t work, so everything you get when interrupted is a focus loss and frustration.
Coffee shops help here as well. This environment’s conversation is easier to tune out, and you have more control over distractions here: a bare wearing of earphones will signal about the unwillingness to talk, concentration on work, and no time for questions of any type.
What is more, a little distraction such as a coffee shop background noise does well to productivity thanks to a mind trick known as processing disfluency, or the speed in what we process information. According to Ravi Mehta from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, “extreme quiet tends to sharpen your focus, which can prevent you from thinking in the abstract,” while moderate sound levels of coffee shops “distract people just enough so that they think more broadly.”
As Mehta says, it helps you “think outside the box” and find more and faster solutions for workday tasks.
You listen to productivity-friendly sound waves
A moderate amount of background noise makes us more creative. Researchers from the University of British Columbia had found it back in 2012 and proved that 70 decibels of ambient sounds – the same we meet in a crowded cafe – influenced creativity and productivity well. At the same time, 50 decibels of a quiet room, as well as 85 decibels of garbage disposal, lower our performance drastically.
Another study by Luke Laverty has similar results. He proved the positive influence of white noise on our creativity, while conversation and interruptions in a daily office affected it negatively.
You trick a daily routine by changing a scenery
Even if working in a top designed and comfortable office, your chances to fall into a routine are high. The human brain seeks for novelty, and changing the working environment will help to satisfy this seek as well as encourage inspiration and bring new stimulation. Newly motivated, the brain releases dopamine (a hormone of happiness) inspiring you to work better.
Lower distractions, new sounds, motivated people working around, and the only goal you set when going to work from a coffee shop – to complete all tasks from a to-do list – these all make the brain look for new ideas and business decisions, which stimulates to work faster.
Your productivity won’t boost once you decided to go to a coffee shop and work from there. Try several cafes to avoid a daily routine and decide which of them meet your needs most.
Learn how to work in a coffee shop like a pro: remember the etiquette. And if your employer isn’t ready to allow you to spend every working day in a cafe – don’t feel bad: a few days per month are enough to see positive changes in productivity.