Photo-A-Day #1699

Today I needed a change of scene. I knew that Borders was getting free wi-fi and so I decided to check it out. I noticed a few good things about this. Borders has a little cafe that had plenty of tables, not enough outlets but certainly enough places to sit. There was quick access to snacks and drinks as well as the restrooms. There were also plenty of books around if you needed to reference anything.

I can certainly understand why people like Chris Brogan use locations like this to develop his social media strategy. I was able to focus on the tasks I needed to complete and also able to complete them quickly. I got more done in those two hours than I have at home or in the office in a while.

What made this work?

  • Simplicity – I took only minimal equipment with me.
  • Immediacy – I knew I only had a couple of hours to do my work so with a deadline I worked with focus
  • Focus – Without any distractions I could see exactly what I needed to do
  • Relaxation – Even though I was doing work I was still relaxed about it.

Once in a while you need to take a break from the norm and change up your routine to bring things back to where they should be.

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17 Responses to “Change of Scene, Change of Mind”

  1. Jim Kukral says:

    Do you take your laptop to the bathroom with you or leave it?

    • Drew says:


      Took it with me before I started working. Wasn’t there long enough to make that decision again. I would take things with me unless I met someone who I could trust to watch things for me.

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by BenSpark, BenSpark. BenSpark said: Change of Scene, Change of Mind […]

  3. Brandy says:

    I have been told by Dwan over and over to get out and go to a local place where Wi-Fi is available. We don’t have a Starbucks, we have a McDonald’s with WiFi but I can’t really see myself sitting at McDonald’s in my town. So anyways, my point was that I think you are right, working on focus outside of your normal atmosphere may drive more focus and someday I would love to test that theory out! Glad you enjoyed Borders Wi-Fi
    .-= Look at what Brandy wrote blog Reads Your Texts and Emails =-.

    • Drew says:


      Does your local library have wi-fi access. I know that some do and it is an even better place to go, minus the tasty drinks.

  4. Ah, you did some workshifting. : ) Love it.
    .-= Look at what Chris Brogan… wrote blog ..If You Have an Extra Half Hour =-.

    • Drew says:

      Thank you, yes, I did some workshifting and it was great. I figure I’ll start with a couple of hours on each telecommuting day and see how much I can get done. I certainly got down to it and accomplished actual work towards making something from what I know. I’ve got to get back there and bang out my second newsletter. I don’t know how you do it, I type fast but man your fingers must heat up from the speed.

  5. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by BenSpark: Change of Scene, Change of Mind

  6. lenny says:

    For going to the bathroom while “workshifting” ( I don’t really get “work” done) I use the Targus Defcon 1. I have the older model. I also make sure I bring a 6 foot extension cord and a mini-usb hub.
    Usually if there is someone sitting nearby also on a computer I will ask them if they can watch the computer if I step away. I was at Panera Bread with my nephew and a guy literally walked away to outside of the building,nowhere to be seen, for 45 minutes and left his computer on the comfy chair near the fireplace. Place was packed, nobody went near it.
    Barnes and Noble’s are also shifting over to free internet. McDonald’s still charges. You can also put the WeFi app on your Android or the Tricorder ( to wardrive) yes there is a Wardrive app also but Dude you can have a working Tricorder on your phone.

    • Drew says:

      If I do this more I think this may be the way to go. Not sure though. I forgot how much you go to starbucks and panera and people watch. You certainty know more about workshifting than I do.

      Tricorder on the Android. I’ll have to look into that. What does it do for you? I’m not as skilled with the knowledge of Star Trek. What is a WarDrive?

  7. Alli says:

    In the new year I plan on taking one night a week and head to the local coffee shop to do just what you did. Sometimes just moving my laptop from the living room to the kitchen really makes a difference.
    .-= Look at what Alli wrote blog ..DPP :: December 2 =-.

    • Drew says:

      I agree, I sometimes work at the dining room table and it makes a big difference, probably because in the living room I’m in front of a TV.

  8. Paul says:

    Hey Ben! its been a while -you may not remember me but I am the “Bloggers Showroom guy”..I am glad to see you are still blogging you have a wonderful website. I love the new theme, nice clean cut. I recently found my way to Borders free wi-fi as well. I don’t know where you are located but I live in dc and went to one near friendship heights. I agree -great environment, easy to focus, limited outlets, plenty of seats, and best of all free wi-fi! I find it interesting that I found your blog at this time and read your post that directly relates to where I’ve been this past week.

    • Drew says:

      That is quite the coincidence, I’m in Massachusetts so I probably didn’t see you but it is funny that we were on the same wavelength. I remember the Blogger’s showroom, I hope that is going well for you.

  9. Billy Liu says:

    Mr.Drew,you are a very nice and patient to every reader of this article.which make me feeling warm to stay here to read your article.

  10. Manhattan says:

    In general, all major bookstores have little Wifi cafes now. It really doesn’t matter if it’s Borders or Barns and Noble. They’re all the same.

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