Unless You Possess Extraordinary Discipline and Clear Productivity Goals, You Shouldn’t Be Doing Work in a Coffee Shop

In order to properly gauge how much work you will actually get done, and for what actual purpose you are going to a coffee shop for, consider these three Rumsfeldian factors:

There are the seen seens. These are the times when you’re doing work in a coffee shop in order to be seen. You want to run into someone, or perhaps you just need a little human contact or inspiration. Generally, this means that you’re sitting in a high-traffic area, you’re not wearing headphones, and there may even be room for other people to sit at your table. GSD (Getting Stuff Done) Scale: 2/10.

There are the seen unseens. That is to say that people may see you, but you are controlling who you interact with. If you’re wearing ear buds, sitting in a low-traffic area, and only making eye contact with people you want to talk to, this is a seen unseen. You might engage in a conversation with a client if they happen to walk in, but you will avoid a social interaction with your body/tech language. GSD Scale: 5/10.

Finally, there are the unseen unseens. That is to say, you actually want to get some work done and you have no other choice but to do it in a public space. Perhaps your office is flooded or infested with rodents. Maybe a family of raccoons moved into the bathroom. I don’t know. The point is that if you really must get work done, don’t do it in a coffee shop. However, if factors force you from the office, your body and tech language is important. Essentially, this means you’re sitting in a low- to no-traffic area. Your back is to the door that most people enter (if that’s safe). You’re wearing gigantic, ear-muff-style headphones that shut out the world. I call these “don’t talk to me headphones” — they’re a not so subtle hint. You also don’t look up from your work, lest you be interrupted. Ever. GSD Scale: 8/10.

The most important practice is to assess the reason I’m going to do my work at a coffee shop and adjust my goals for productivity accordingly.

There Are Times When You See the Northern Lights and It Isn’t the Coming of the Lord

The first time I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Saviour was in the summer of 1985.

I was at Camp Chestermere, in southern Alberta. One night, while we warmed our feet by the fire and ate our s’mores, Fletch, the Head Counsellor and my cabin warden, painted an Old Testament picture of human confusion, hell fire and humanity’s only true chance for redemption. He seemed to command the fire to intensify as he reported that Jesus would descend in glory from the sky in a spectacular light show, judge us, and burn the guilty (of whom I would be one unless I signed up with the righteous).

As I was quite focused on my snack, I didn’t think much of his story nor his technique — it all seemed rather stage-y and wide-eyed, if you know what I mean. My Road to Damascus moment was when Aurora Borealis exploded through the dark on our late-night walk back to the cabin. Having never seen the Northern Lights, I mistook this rare natural phenomena for the Rapture. My terror manifested as a pragmatic decision to cover my ass and I “asked Jesus into my heart” with a mix of fervour and adrenaline while cowering under my sleeping bag on my wooden bunk bed.

Do you want to turn some of your own stories into something like this? Contact us, it’s what we do.

Man Whom Seems Like a Cliché, Is


Local entrepreneur Darin L. Steinkey sat at a coffee shop Friday around 2pm wondering whether he’s a cliché.

If he were to step back from the scene, it might be more obvious.

An empty espresso cup confirms he likes his coffee pure and strong. The soda water he ordered on the side: cold. He’s reading a book of letters exchanged between two moderately obscure authors. Translated from Norwegian.

“Sometimes, I’m just a little too much to take,” he said. “I mean, for God’s sake, I’m taking notes with a tool from the 16th Century,” he said, waving a blue pencil. “Who writes with these anymore?”

Further investigation revealed a Radiohead song moaning about fame on the turntable, and several novelty beards in the area.

His plans for the weekend include The London Review of Books and going to a concert by a band named after a utensil one would use at breakfast. He’ll sample artisan drinks and food before the show and, although the band is one of his favourites, will show restraint in cheering for them.

“I guess I am a bit of a cliché,” he said. “But it’s how I enjoy living, so I’m not sure what to do with that. I’m not one to change my habits so I don’t look as discerning, intelligent or snooty as I think I look. Does that even make sense?”

In a move that surely confirms his clichéd status, as of August 31, he is full-time with his Cascadia-based company Aldridge Street Print & Media. Plans for the launch of a magazine, a suite of podcasts and several short documentaries are afoot.

We will update you as news breaks.

– Aldridge Street