What do you drink when you need to problem solve ? A calming cup of tea? An energy drink? Me, I prefer a simple cappuccino. And when I really need a boost of creativity, I head down to my favorite local coffee shop.
As the pandemic rages, it’s still good idea to get your latte to go. But when inside gatherings become safe again, consider grabbing a table and hanging around. The coffee shop itself—full of conversations, industrious students, and the flow of customers—provides ample fuel for your mind. You don’t even need caffeine to feel the stimulating effects.
Coffee shops hover between disrupting and soothing, a balance that’s great for getting down to work. The first major factor is the hum of background noise, like the whir of the espresso machine and the drone of nearby voices. These ambient sounds ever so slightly distract you; and while it seems counterintuitive, that subtle distraction aids in abstract thinking, decision making, and creative activity.
A second factor is the visual variety of your surroundings. Little movements—like changes in daylight or baristas walking by—stimulate your creative thinking. After all, if you’ve been staring at your office desk all day, a change in environment can mean a change in perspective. Literally and figuratively!
The third factor is that coffee shops are full of other people working. They’re reading books, typing emails, hosting meetings. When you’re surrounded by productivity, it becomes easier for you to be productive as well.
Of course, there’s no magic spell for working hard. But a table at a coffee shop, and maybe a hot cup of joe, can get you close.