Four Benefits of a Coffeehouse Appointment

I don’t know anyone who believes they just have too much time on their hands.  Even for most retirees (my dad included), their “to do “ lists only grows when they leave corporate life.

 Yet, in a world often dominated by daily updates to facebook and the perpetual items on our task list, it’s easy to never get to those things we really want [or need] to do.  For some, it’s simply time to read the stack of online articles about their trade, or for others, it’s spending valuable time with someone who can sharpen our skills and positively influence our personal development.

 An old proverb states that iron sharpens iron, so I decided live that principle and reach out to someone to focus on one of those items plaguing my ongoing list of goals.  You know the ones – those tasks that you hope to get to “one day”.   I scheduled some time with a colleague at a local coffee shop recently with the simple aim of working on some tasks that would best benefit from a second pair of eyes.  She did the same.

 This colleague is a little further along with a few strategies I’m also trying to craft.  By setting aside specific time with her, I was able to benefit from her journey.  She shared lessons learned from her experience and also played the devil’s advocate to help me think more clearly (and quickly) about my own strategies.

 So, what is the benefit of investing a few hours at a local coffee shop on that recent Saturday afternoon?

  1. I had an in-person sounding board to help me organize my thinking and advance my progress.
  2. The change in venue and routine sparked creativity. 
  3. Knowing I had scheduled time to focus on this task released me from stressing about it.
  4. I was able to provide feedback to my colleague as well.  The session wasn’t just about me.

 So, what can you possibly glean from my recent experience?  Consider these thoughts:

  • Are you carving out time in your schedule to get to those tasks that are really important to you?
  • Are you intentionally seeking out others who can challenge and encourage you?  Benefit from their experience to make you better.
  • Are you giving back to someone else?  Who can benefit from your professional journey?

 Although I had surpassed my daily coffee intake, as I left the coffee shop that wintry afternoon, I felt a sense of accomplishment in moving one step closer to reaching at least one of my goals.  And it was great sharing that with someone too.  That’s progress.

 How are you doing?

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