Are you productive at Starbucks?

It’s midterm season! Woohoo. Hope everyone is having fun, I know I am.

Student life is partly how I imagine working from home. Some days, it’s hard to change out of my pyjamas or turn off Netflix. There are just so many things to distract me. If I’m being unproductive at my apartment, I pack everything up and go to a coffee shop.

People (notably my mother) ask me why in the world I can’t study at the library like a normal person, or how I get any work done in a place so loud and bustling. I think the heightened productivity at a cafe is due to a combination of peer pressure (the coffee shop near my place is full of people working away) and caffeine.

As you know from the cheats series, I’m trying to avoid coffee shops, but sometimes, I just need to break down and go! My grades depend on it.

So, mom, here’s how to get shit done at Starbucks:

1) Set small goals. Head to the coffee shop with only what you need to accomplish (an assignment, a chapter, a section of a paper, a presentation, etc) and expect that you will not leave until the task is done. If it’s a big project, break the goal up into sub-goals, like reading 15 pages before purchasing another tea.

2) Choose an appropriate coffee shop. Generally, the ones a bit further from the downtown core have more seating room, are more relaxed and tolerate lingerers. Don’t go somewhere where they will kick you out after 20 minutes, or glare at you until you leave.

3) Go empty pocketed. Either leave your phone at home or turn it off.

4) Never ask for their wifi password. You’re here to study, not facebook stalk.

5) Stop Eavesdropping, unless the people one table over are talking about something really interesting. Then, by all means, eavesdrop and report back to me please!

Am I the only one that isn’t productive in a library? There’s something about the juxtaposition of painful silence and noisy typing that drives me mental.

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