Over the past several months Iâ€™ve been toting my laptop out to the Borders and working there. Itâ€™s been a big win for me, productivity-wise. I donâ€™t get distracted by the chores that need doing around the house. Thereâ€™s no refrigerator to poke around in. And Iâ€™m about 100% less likely to curl up in a blanket, settle my computer in my lap, and drop off to sleep.
Problem is, the productivity bump is starting to taper off. Partly itâ€™s that the novelty of the bookstore has worn off; partly itâ€™s that Iâ€™ve discovered I can leech free wifi off the Applebeeâ€™s next door. I suppose I could consider moving down the street to the Barnes & Noble, where thereâ€™s no free wifi. But that would mean giving up Bordersâ€™ sweet hot chocolate with a ridiculous amount of crap on top for B & Nâ€™s slightly bitter hot chocolate with next to nothing on top. Bummer.
It would also mean giving up the relationships Iâ€™ve been cultivating with the Borders staff. These relationships arenâ€™t exactly a linchpin of my social network, but they allow me to engage in some brief small talk when I hit a lull in my work, and to â€œrentâ€ my cafÃ© space on the cheap: I only buy drinks when Iâ€™m thirsty, instead of feeling obligated to pay into the coffers each time I visit.
I cultivated these relationships quite deliberately, mostly just by being nice, and by over-ordering slightly in the initial weeks, especially when the manager was in. After a few days, everybody working there knew my name, and now I think Iâ€™ve basically become their mascot, sort of a writer-in-residence. They ask me about the book, wish me luck, and when I come back after a few daysâ€™ absence, they tell me anecdotes about what I missed. I think I can count on being a “Staff Pick” if any of these people are still working there when my book comes out. And theyâ€™re nice guys; they often brighten my day.
Long story short, Iâ€™d hate to give all that up. So, the question is, do I have it in me to refrain from logging on to the web? Or is this another distraction I need to eliminate in my life, the same way I eliminated my household distractions by heading out to Borders in the first place?