Coffee shop lessons…

News, Productivity,

It’s not often that I work in a coffee shop, as we have comfortable home offices that we’ve equipped to suit us well. Sometimes though, circumstances combine to suggest a stint in a coffee shop is the best option. What I didn’t expect when I settled myself yesterday was to find a business lesson painted on the wall!

To cut a long, complicated story short, we’d had a weekend with Chris’s parents, who needed some help as the result of a fall, a broken bone and an inconvenient plaster cast. That was fine, but a flat tyre and an uncooperative locking wheel nut extended our stay. We called on both the AA AND Landrover Assist, before we finally headed to a Range Rover repairer in Gateshead to get the offending nut drilled out and replaced.┬áThus we needed to kill a few hours while the stud was drilled and the wheel finally changed, allowing us to head home.

A few hours in a coffee shop isn’t tough.

There are always things that can be done, though obviously it’s not the best place to work on confidential matters! We settled ourselves into emails, blog posts, some key decisions and planning for next year, and the time flew. That may of course have been helped along by a couple of hot chocolates all the way!

As I worked though, some wording painted on the wall caught my eye, so when the lady beneath it moved, I popped over to read it properly:

Coffee shop lessons...
Coffee shop lessons…

SO often we rush from one thing to the next.

We hurry to get one project done, and to tick the next box. At times we do this to the detriment of thinking, pausing to draw breath and considering the next step.

Baranov Associates is intentionally small, as our goal is to retain the ‘life’ that we found between the sale of the last business and the set-up of this one. Even so, it’s very easy to get too drawn into ‘the buzz’ of everything, and to realise that we haven’t drawn breath properly in a while.

From a personal perspective that’s not what we want, but from a business perspective that’s not healthy either.

  • When you’re running too fast, you don’t stop to think things through properly.
  • You don’t stop to really plan things in enough detail, to be 100% sure that you’re speaking to your target market, or just to the world at large.
  • You lose sight of the ‘big picture’ and lose focus and clarity over the priorities that you should be working on.

The words on the wall spoke about the time it takes to produce the coffee that so many of us grab as we rush to our next appointment.

We drink it in the car, on the move and while thinking about the list of things we need to get through.

If we take the time to savour that coffee, to spend the time while drinking it to consider our plans for the day, the real reasons we’re rushing and whether our focus is in the right place, we may do better and feel better.

When did you last take the time to just sit and think?

I’d recommend taking a few minutes to do so. Sit in a coffee shop, the office or on your sofa, and just think things through. And then start again, refreshed and with a clearer purpose.