I'm the first customer in Starbucks every morning, why? Sadist?
Nope, I'm there because it works for me, here's why.
I get up at 04:45 every day, 7 days a week and I'm I'm usually the first customer at Starbucks every morning.
Yes, I have an amazing espresso machine at our co-working space, however I go to Starbucks every morning for some pretty simple reasons that make a HUGE difference in my day.
1. I don't have to think about what I want.
When I walk through the door, the staff (they're rad, I'll get to that in a minute), know that I have my own cup and that I like whatever is freshest (Which at 5:30 is all of them) with liquid heavy whipping cream. It comes to $2.20 and it goes on my app where I collect stars like I'm an honour roll kindergarten student.
I can walk in, grab my coffee and sit down at my favourite table and crack on in < 3 minutes.
Protip: If you bring your own cup and get LHWC they add it for you, not lazy, efficient and delicious. Try it.
2. There's other people around and they're working.
This is huge for me, the people I'm surrounded by at 5:30am are working, they're chatting with each other and getting ready for the rush that comes in a couple hours. So when I sit down at my computer I'm motivated subliminally to work as that's what everyone else is doing. I don't want to be the only one not working. They know who I am, we chat about things that are important to them and I don't feel like I'm at all this alone. It's like Cheers, without the troubled life decisions.
3. Free refills
I'm sure this is reading like an advertisement for the big S, I assure you it's not. If you use the app to buy your coffee you get free refills. For me this means that I can focus on working and drink coffee at my leisure, without worrying about how much it costs. Yes, I tie up a table for a couple hours... no one else is here. Find a coffeeshop that allows you to do this.
4. I do my best work first thing in the morning.
With everything in place I'm set up to crush it. This is my time, this is when I am the best, I'm focused, have a hot beverage in my hand and surrounded by other people working. If I sleep in, I give the best hours of my day to billable time, while that's great for them, it leaves me feeling like I'm not working for me and only others.
I need to keep myself happy.
5. When I finally take a break, I'm miles ahead.
I've already accomplished more by the time I take my first break then most people accomplish by noon. When you show up to work at 9 you're still dragging your ass, then your surrounded by people who are also dragging their asses and well... Monkey see monkey do.
Did you watch the game last night? Crazy hit hey... think he'll get suspended?
No work gets done like this, tired people surrounded by tired people talking everything but work.
I on the other hand feel incredible knowing that when I take a break at 7am and look at my body of work, those other people are still in bed.
6. I look the part.
This one is huge. I get up every morning, dress shirt and pants or nice hoodie and dark denim (Software developer uniform) and I sit at the same table every day where I can see everyone who walks through the door and they have to see me.
There's only one Starbucks in our city (18k people, not big), so every professional in my city sees me working every morning, bright and chipper and dressed well. I don't look like I just drug myself out of bed, I don't smell like the night before. I look like someone who cares about their work, who is consistent and who is working before they are...
When I run into them at networking events they always say "Hey I see you at Starbucks every morning" to which I reply, "In a global market I have to get up early to compete. Join me for coffee some time?" and they do. I plant the seed that I'm a global caliber developer who gives a shit about the global market and I've invited them for coffee.
It's compelling. It's professional and it's something I do better than they do. They want to talk.
7. I watch the sun rise.
The sun rose before me and it continue doing so after I'm gone, I should enjoy it while I can. I get to see it rise over the rocky mountains in the summer and crest slightly over the horizon in the winter.
There's plenty to be said for being basked in sunlight early in the morning, it's comforting, refreshing and a brilliant way to start each day.
Don't miss it, if you see it rise every day you'll never regret it and it will help reset your circadian rhythm.
8. Be consistent
The biggest win for me has been that I accomplish my tasks early leaving me able to win with the things that matter to me. Be consistent, give it a solid month, if you fall off the wagon one day get back on the next. It's a lifestyle change that will pay dividends if you can make it.