My Starbucks Office

When I was in University (a long, long, long time ago), I could not study in the library to save my life.  The quiet distracted me.  The quiet made me restless and unfocused;  the quiet made me tired and sleepy.  No matter how hard I tried, the library did more harm than good to the mark returned on my test or essay.  I used the library for their books (pre-internet days) and then I got the heck out of there.  It took me awhile to realize this fact about myself.  I initially resisted, knowing that the library really was the best place to study and to do work.  I mean, everyone else was doing it so why couldn't I? 

One day while riding the city bus and reading a course required book (one of the hundreds that year- yikes!), I realized that all of the bus 'chatter' was easier to tune out than concentrating in silence.  My marks increased with this discovery and I'm still not sure why I never knew this about myself already?  Looking back, even in high-school I had a tendency to study or do homework with music or the television on.  I do not recall actually participating in the music or watching the TV, but I know that 'noise' was always on as I did my homework.

The city bus became my place to do all of my required reading.  Highlighter in hand and four different buses per day.  When I had regular homework to do I went to the cafeteria at noon,  taking a seat among the thousands of loud students.   I could have studied at home in front of the television, but a few of my school days were 12 hours long with a few breaks.  I needed to use the time productively doing homework or studying, as I also carried an almost full time job.  One semester, I ate dinner and did homework in a campus restaurant (as I waited for my 7pm class) while other students drank beer and played pool.  And some of those times I watched a Salsa club dance away, whilst sipping a draft and writing essays (by hand).  I also recall one of those dancing students being 'Scooter' from the Degrassi series.  For real.

Moving on to present day.  These past few years have seen a lot of writing return into my life.  Now with two young kids, I can't say there are a lot of quiet moments.  Writing should come easy-- just tune the kids out and spill a thousand words on the page, right?  Nope.

Someone always has to be talking to me, or needing something.  I cannot seem to tune the little rugrats out.  Ever.  So I end up writing at Starbucks before deadlines when my kids overlap in school, because if I returned home to do my 'work', the house would be empty and quiet and I'd be sidetracked by other 'home' work.  *sigh*

Besides, Starbucks serves up Americano and wi-fi.

What does it take for you to be Work-at-Home productive?  
Complete silence?  Procrastination?  


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