Why Coffee Shop Writing Is Effective

coffee shop writing

Coffee shop writing isn’t for everyone. Or is it? I’m writing this at Panera Bread. There’s a background of human chatter, which I find to be hilarious when you don’t focus on any one conversation. It’s funny to me how so many people have so much to say at all times (introvert thoughts).

I’m probably late to this party by 20 years, and I hate to admit it, but I think I’m… a coffee shop writer. It started out as a casual, fun idea that I’d come here after playing basketball to write a bit. But then I noticed that my focus improved by about 200% here compared to my home.

Have you noticed that there are very few cats at Panera Bread? This helps me to focus.

This is likely why I’ve needed the change. I’ve only had cats for a year, but they immediately destroyed my productivity in the cutest way possible. I should note that I’m obsessed with cats. I squeal with delight every time I see one. They’re magnificent, majestic creatures with incredible leaping ability, soft fur, and lethal claws. Perfect!

So when my cat Sprout jumps on my lap, I must pet the cat. I must talk to the cat. I must… be distracted again! Not again, Sprout! Even worse, imagine trying to get work done, and then noticing your cats in a meowoff with the neighbor’s cat.

It’s impossible to work near this.

It’s Been Two Weeks

I tend to do my coffee shop writing early in the morning after playing basketball. The combination of morning energy, aerobic exercise, and a cat-free location have been a trifecta for writing magic. The words and ideas flow easier.

If you’re like me, you’re fascinated by people’s lifestyles and routines. That’s the main reason I wanted to share this new routine I’ve had. Maybe you will adopt one part or concept from it into your routine.

  • Wake up at 5:00 AM
  • Breakfast, pack bag, etc.
  • Play pickup bball at LA Fitness at 6:00 AM
  • Write at Panera bread at 8:00 AM (with green tea and food)

I’ve never been one for routine, and I don’t actually do this one every day, but it has been a joy! It makes me wonder if the main reason why people don’t have routines is because they don’t like them enough. Here’s why I like mine.

  1. Effortless wake up. I don’t have to wake up to an alarm. Doing so is only fun if I’m going somewhere really exciting, but in that case, I don’t sleep much anyway. I’ve managed to brute-force tune my biological clock to get up at 5 AM automatically. It’s already starting to slip later, however, so I’m going to practice better sleep hygiene to see if I can keep it this way. Why? I live 2000% better on this sleep schedule, as opposed to the “wake up at noon” program.
  2. I love basketball. This is my favorite sport to play, and I have a really good time doing it. As an introvert author, I greatly appreciate the social aspect of it as well, since I don’t socialize much outside of this time. Add in the important exercise, and this is always satisfying. Plus, I get to feel the endorphins afterwards.
  3. Food and drink. My big reward for this routine is really the meal I have at Panera after basketball. Also, just sitting down after 2 hours of basketball is much needed and appreciated.

The other thing I’ve been doing with my coffee shop writing routine is drinking green tea (not coffee). I like it because of its well documented health benefits (catechins are powerful), but also its minor caffeine content. If I have a regular cup of coffee, I will involuntarily run a marathon in a jittery fashion. It’s too much. But green tea contains about one third of the caffeine of coffee. It’s just a little boost, and when combined with the aerobic session increasing blood flow to my brain, I find writing is closer to effortless than grueling.

That’s been my routine. I love it! And I’m still using the whiteboard to manage my life. I’ll usually plan my day on that before I start my day at the gym.

If you don’t have a morning routine, perhaps you just need to find one that’s more rewarding. I enjoy and look forward to every part of my routine. And if you are a writer and think you have writer’s block, try leaving your cats at home and get some coffee, or better yet, green tea!

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