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Coffee Shop vs Library vs Home
So you work from home, or at least that’s the ideal.
However depending on your circumstances you may wish to get out of home for a couple of hours or so.
I have no office at home, and I find that if I don’t set aside time to work on my blog, what happens is it ends up being a complete rushed job, as I find myself doing washing, watching TV doing ironing and a few more domestics, rather than setting aside a few hours to actually do work.
For me working from home is fine up to a certain point. There are a lot of distractions as mentioned above, and if you can block those out then you can do quite well. What I’ve found though, is because we don’t have a separate office, space or room, sometimes if other people are about, they seem to do all they can to hamper my concentration! This can be really frustrating when I’m trying to sort blog posts out.
Due to this I decided that three times a week I would utilise one of our independent coffee shops as they have free wifi (although this is not always reliable) so I can sit with a pot of tea a glass of water and all my notebooks in a friendly atmosphere and be left alone for a while.
It has the added bonus that it gets me out of the house and makes me walk for 20 mins in the fresh air.
It also means that if your phone goes off you don’t get lots of strange looks, as you would do in the library. Although quietness is not quite the thing it was, but if you are trying to concentrate and went to use the library for that reason it doesn’t always work due to classes, or other people using the large table to discuss things that are totally distracting to you, therefore defeating the object of the exercise of using a ‘quiet’ space.
From this point of view I find the coffee shop much easier to deal with.
Firstly, I don’t expect everyone around me to be quiet, as I would do in the library.
Therefore I am more relaxed about the noise, but on the whole too, most people will leave you alone if you look like you’re working.
On top of this, unlike the library you can have a drink and something to eat (if you like) whilst you’re working, pretty much as you would do at home, or in an office.
This morning whilst walking here I was weighing up the pros and cons of renting an office or using the coffee shop.
In the grand scheme of things the coffee shop works out actually more cost effective. Yes OK you buy food and drink, but when that is only once or twice a week it works out at roughly £10.
However if you were renting an office, especially a serviced one (only if you need it mind), it will cost you a lot more and it would become a monthly outgoing. The library of course would be completely free, but not as good ( to me anyway), as it may first appear.
The coffee shop gives you a relaxed atmosphere. You expect the noise, it’s sociable without being disturbing and if , like me your routine switches about you actually save money if you don’t turn up. Obviously that won’t happen with a rented office space, you’d have to pay for it whatever.
There are no distractions in the coffee shop either. No TV to tempt you to watch netflix comfortably or a film on the TV (which is my downfall!) or all the household chores that can become an annoyance if you try and work at home, and don’t talk to me about the telephone going off when you don’t need it to. If I’m not in the house that doesn’t happen, they leave messages if it’s important and I deal with it later.
Out of the house is better for me from the point of view of sorting out my blog and collecting my thoughts. It’s definitely cheaper than renting an office space. Water is free. Pot of tea is £2.00. Can’t see that happening for 4 hours in an office space. Can you?
In a lot of libraries they don’t (for obvious reasons) allow drinks at the tables, which I would find very annoying.
Do you work at home?
How disciplined are you?
I try to do at least 4 hours everyday. 2 hours out as my battery lasts about that long at the beginning of the day, and 2 hours in the evening when necessary.
However I also ‘try to’ plan in Technology Breaks so that I don’t spend all day on the computer, with varying degrees of success! How about you?
I always have too much to do, and not enough time to do them in, and every time I get close to finishing my ‘to do’ list something else comes along that I need to do!
Don’t get me wrong I love the freedom that working from home gives, but I also have to be very strict with myself otherwise nothing would ever get done.
Add into that, that apart from the research for this blog, I also have to research items for my podcast. Whilst trying to keep that relevant, and record the sections (this is why it only comes out once a fortnight instead of weekly just to give me a bit more time in order to do the research.)
I try to make sure that I also factor in days where I can see my friends during the day, volunteer in Oxfam when needed and generally live the life that working at home affords me to do.
Which reminds me, I have another episode for the Podcast to record, this to put up and edit on the blog (internet is intermittent, so I’ll have to do that at home.) and a Wednesday Vlog to think about and put together. Hopefully before the end of the weekend. Wish me luck!
I’m sat in a coffee shop writing this in Open Office as I can’t get at my blog due to the intermittent internet. It’s Friday morning (just coming up to midday and I’m running out of battery!) Just need to save this and then copy and paste into my blog when I get home, but that will be considerably less time than it took to sort this post out (Since I’d already written it, see ), and then changed my mind in favour of this post.
Still have a bunch of things to do here, but I’ve been at this for two hours so time to go home and refuel, before cracking on with the rest of it.
How do you split up your day?
FOOTNOTE: I wrote all this on Friday and Saved it, was out all day yesterday, it is now 21:15 on Sunday evening and I have only just sat down at my computer! Life does not work to your plan.