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Beating the Odds

Why Coffee Shops Are Good for You

Do you know a great spot where you can relax and have a cup of coffee?

You need not be tempted to feel guilty about the hours you spend there. They’re not wasted. In fact, research shows that the opposite is true. According to an article in The Atlantic, crowded coffee shops actually fire up your creativity.

The article said researchers led by PhD candidate Ravi Mehta found that “a moderate level of ambient noise enhanced subjects’ performance on the creativity tasks, while a high level of noise hurt it. Modest background noise, the scientists explain, creates enough of a distraction to encourage people to think more imaginatively.”

Among other things, this study could wind up costing me a few dollars. I always seem to enjoy getting some work done in our local shops, but never knew why. Now that there’s some scientific evidence, I’ll do it even more.

There’s another message. No matter what you do, there  might be a better way to do it. There might be a better place to do it, or a better time. We don’t know. Sometimes the answer is a hunch, later backed up by science. Improvement is a journey, not just something that happens once in a while.

In the case of the coffee shops, that gentle buzz and background noise may be just the key to writing an article or developing a proposal. In fact, you might do better in a coffee shop than you would in a library!

So the next time you want to think outside the box, do that thinking in a coffee shop.

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Would you like to improve at what you do? “The Improvement Factor: How Winners Turn Practice into Success” can show you how! Are you a coach? “Ten Things Great Coaches Know” can make you a better one.


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