Where is Your Productive Place?

The Journal of Consumer Research recently announced study results that indicate working at a coffee shop can actually be good for your productivity. The ambient noise, it turns out, is the good kind of distraction, allowing the brain to think abstractly and generate creative ideas. This goes against a long-believed fact that creatives need absolute quiet and solitude to get things done.

Will coffee shops work for everyone? Not necessarily. They really can be distracting, and not always in a good way. But for some, plopping down at a table with an espresso machine running in the background is just the ticket to productivity. The biggest lesson here is: it’s a great idea to think outside the box, and go beyond your usual habits to find the best place for you to work. Do you hide away in a quiet home office when your best work might be done at the kitchen table? Prefer the library over the busy university center? It’s worth trying out a new spot to see how you do.

Here are a few out-of-the-box locations that can help you spark new productive energy and creativity:

  • Outside: Who says you have to spend beautiful days cooped up in your office? Improve your outlook and your morale by getting a breath of fresh air while you get some work done.
  • Anywhere new: Sometimes, all you need is a change of pace. Is there a new coffee shop you haven’t hit yet? A library branch that’s nice, but not in your neighborhood? Find a new spot, and you might get a new perspective, too.
  • While commuting: It might not be a great idea to spend your entire work day on the train, but it’s worth considering the idea of pulling out your laptop during your morning commute. You might find that being “stuck” helps you focus, and it’s a great way to reclaim time you otherwise wouldn’t have.
  • Coworking spaces: Like the crowded coffee shop, coworking spaces can be a great place to find creative inspiration. You’ll be surrounded by creative energy, and even be able to bounce ideas off of your coworking mates.
  • Hotels: Obviously, this is not a budget-friendly solution, but for important projects, it’s something to keep in mind. If you need a new spot that’s high on amenities and low on distraction, hotel or motel rooms might be just the ticket.

Where is your favorite place to get things done? How do you mix things up when you need a change?