Focus is something that I often lack. I have little focus at school, and almost no focus at home. Realizing this last year, I set out to find a setting in which I could retain an attention span and actually manage to get work done. Quite surprisingly, I discovered that I actually do my best work in a coffee shop. At home, there are simply too many distractions. Chores pile up, the phone rings, family members come and go, and throughout it all the TV looms over the living room, quietly, yet irresistibly calling my name from atop its royal pedestal. Many people find the bustle of activity permeating through a busy coffee shop at any given time to be equally distracting, but for me it seems to have the opposite effect. At home, every distraction is magnified because they are all addressed specifically at me, but at a coffee shop, the distractions are almost never directed at me. People talk to each other around me, enter and exit, address the baristas with orders, and generally cause a commotion, yet none of this is in response to me, and none of this calls for any action on my part. Miraculously, sitting in a small bubble of calm amidst this storm of activity focuses me. I whip papers out in half the time it takes me when writing them from home while children yell and cry at the table next to me. I chain five apps together with URL schemes, Drafts, and x-callback-url while the people a few feet away argue loudly about gun control. I teach myself Python in a corner while the blenders and coffee grinders screech and the baristas call out names and drinks.

Of course, the downside of this procedure is that an inordinate amount of my somewhat limited funds flows into Starbucks' coffers on a weekly basis, but despite that fact, the rock solid focus this setting enables within me allows me to attack any challenge I choose with a will I wouldn't otherwise have been able to muster. This greatly increased level of productivity allows me to confidently conclude that every dime spent there is completely worth it.

If you find yourself suffering from a similar dearth of focus or attention span, I encourage you to go in search of your own place of zen. Perhaps you don't have the same calm-within-the-storm attitude that I am able to invoke, but I'm sure there are other environments in which you could experiment and find your own fit. Trust me, finding it will be well worth the effort.