When I started working from home I realized I’m not as focused as I thought I was.
I get distracted quite easily and if I didn’t seem like much of a problem when I was only doing it on the weekends, it sure is when all your income depends on it.
Add that to the fact that working from home can feel quite lonely sometimes and you get the reasons why I added working from cafes to my weekly routine.
What kind of work can you do?
As an illustrator, I usually need a lot of space and tools to work. That's not ideal when you want to work from a coffee shop. But, if you're a freelancer you know that there's a lot more going on behind the scenes, other than the actual work you're usually hired for.
What I find works for me is doing the tasks that I find myself procrastinating the most when I’m at home and that doesn't take much space. I usually do all my written work from cafes. Everything from blog posts, emails, budget requests are usually done in the morning while drinking a nice cappuccino at a coffee shop.
I find that my writing is slowly getting better because I now take specific time to work on it. Sometimes I can also do some initial sketches that don’t require the computer. It depends on what I need to do that week.
Reasons to work from cafes when you’re a freelancer
Co-working spaces are a nice option for freelancers but depending on the places, locations, and commodities it can get quite expensive. If you can’t afford it right, cafes can be a cheaper alternative and with a delicious breakfast.
It may seem weird but I find it less distracting to work from a coffee shop where everyone is doing their thing than from home where there’s always something to do or something to clean.
Getting out of the house
Ever since I started working from home I need to find reasons to get out of the house. I never really spend my day working in my pajamas (I have to walk my dog everyday) but there are days where I don’t do more than that. Adding the cafe work to my routine gives me a reason to get dressed and out of the house, new people and different sceneries are good for the mind.
Helps to socialize
I haven’t met anyone while working from a cafe yet but I know people who have. But sometimes, instead of working alone I get together with a friend and instead of being alone we make each other company.
Tips for cafe working
Create a routine
Cafe working is now part of my weekly routine. The number of times I do it each week depends on the kind of work I have to do. But I’ll do it at least once. Having that as part of my weekly routine gives me something different to look forward to.
Have a topic in mind
When I head to a cafe I usually already have in mind what I need to get done. This helps me stay focused and I know that when that’s done, the “cafe work” part of my day is done.
Charge your laptop
I know this isn’t the same for everyone but I find it works perfectly for me. If my laptop is fully charged I won’t have to worry about sitting next to a power plug and I also know exactly how many time I have which makes me get focused easily.
Some cafes are busier than others. Some have bigger tables, others don’t have wifi. So if you have some research to do, maybe good WIFI is important but if the internet will get you distracted, not having wifi is probably a better option.
Try to think of what you need before choosing your spot and try to used a few different places and switch between them so you never get bored.