Going to work can get old. A change in environment often allows you to open up to other possibilities and see solutions that may not have otherwise appeared. If your work or routine needs revitalizing, pack up and go somewhere else. Go to a coffee shop, the public library, a local art center, the park, even a hotel lobby. You might not only get new ideas and new routines, you might also get new customers or contacts. It may not even feel like work.
What feeds your creativity?
I personally frequent many different coffee shops; Caribou, Dunn Brothers, and Starbucks are highest on my list. I write most of my blog posts from Dunn Brothers, where the eclectic crowd and comfortable atmosphere (and sitting by the fireplace in the winter) feed my creativity. Personally, I like the noise in a coffee shop–the coffee grinder, the sound of milk being frothed, and the general hustle bustle of customers and employees. If you find it too distracting, head to the library, where others are engaged in quiet and thoughtful activity. Or sit on a park bench where you can be inspired by nature–and lots of sensory stimuli. In an art gallery, you might get colorful visual inspiration for a problem that you thought was black and white.
You might be tempted to go to places you’ve been before–either because you’ve done good, creative work there in the past or imagine you might now. But don’t limit yourself to old haunts. If you want to think new creative thoughts, go somewhere new. Where haven’t you gone to work?
Expand your network
At coffee shops, you’ll likely reconnect with old friends and acquaintances, and you’re apt to expand your network, too–especially if you’re friendly and introduce yourself to the staff and owner. Coffee shops are excellent places to network. The only downside is if you’re not in a networking mood. If you really need to be productive and focused, you might want to seek out a different, less social environment.
Want a tip? Tip.
Buy something. Tip well. And don’t nurse a single cup of coffee for hours on end (going back for multiple “free” refills is tacky). Remember, the barista meets many people throughout the day and may find an opportunity to provide a key introduction. If you want support for your business, you need to support the coffee shop’s business.