Spill the Beans

Coffee and More: The Most popular posts of 2016

005-rest-and-be-thankfulHello readers! THANK YOU for reading the blog here at HOPE Unlimited.  Be sure to read to the end to get the link to the Super Short Survey.

As we finish up the year, I thought it would be fun to look back and see what some of the most popular posts were for 2016.  There are a couple of different ways to measure this, including Google Analytics, and Mail Chimp reports (I use Mail Chimp to mail out the weekly post.)

Mail Chimp

According to Mail Chimp, the three most popular posts for 2016 (based on emails being opened) were:

Erasing a Mistake

I’m Back…Sort Of  

Introducing our New Logo! 

Google Analytics

When I checked Google Analytics, I found a fascinating fact.

Three of my most popular posts for the year (visits to the site) were actually posts I wrote in previous years! That means people are visiting pages from the past. So here they are:

An A t0 Z List of Important Characteristics for the Workplace

Should I Accept Your Coffee Invitation?

Five Cautions about Facebook

For 2016, the coffee theme stood out once again, so I am re-running the most popular site-visit post for this year below.

Enjoy, and I’ll see you again next year! I’ve got some ideas for the blog for the new year and look forward to continuing to bring you helpful, encouraging information.  Don’t forget to share your opinion via our Super Short Survey.

Why I’ve Cut Back on Coffee Shop Work


Beth at coffee shop

Since I spend many hours by myself, I sometimes work at a coffee shop as a way to get out among the “land of the living.” Being in the presence of other people in a unique environment expands my perspective, supports my creativity, and gives me lingering time to think and create.

But it’s not always the most effective way to run my business.

I still make time for a coffee shop work session (sometimes referred to on my calendar as a “Writer’s Block”) almost every week. But recently, I have made it less of a priority as my hands-on commitments to clients have increased. I’ve had to ask myself if this practice was really a good fit for my current business responsibilities, and have discovered that it sometimes is not.  Here are some reasons I’ve made the change. When I’m at a coffee shop, I find that:

  1. I don’t accomplish as much billable time. HOPE serves VA clients via a pre-purchase bank system. Our typical client usually has a few random tasks per week, so I don’t always work a straight 2-3 hours at a time. By the time I add in travel time, purchasing and consuming my snack or food (unless it’s JUST a cup of coffee), I really don’t accomplish much billable time in a coffee shop session.
  2. I can’t guarantee an effective environment. I’ll admit it. I’m kind of picky when it comes to what environment I want to have when working. I have my favorite spots at various coffee shops, and I feel out of sorts if one of those tables aren’t free. In my home office, I am in control of where I sit or stand to work!
  3. It costs money. I believe that if you are going to camp out at someone’s business, you should at least make a small purchase. Thus, every time I go to a coffee shop, I am spending $3 to $10 depending on what time I go and what I get. This adds up. I have the same access to coffee and snacks at home.
  4. It can be distracting. I must have earphones and music ready because it’s too easy for me to pick up on conversations around me. This is easily avoided at my home office.
  5. I have less freedom. At home, I can sing or process out loud, walk around, or even scream at my computer. (Hypothetical of course.) At a coffee shop? Not so much unless I want weird looks.
  6. I can effectively multi-task. Yeah, I know. Multi-tasking is taboo now. But there are some things that can be done in the background at home that can’t be done at a coffee shop. Laundry, for example.
  7. I’m limited in the types of tasks I can do. My trusty Chromebook doesn’t owe me a dime. However, it just doesn’t replace the ease of my desktop set up for all kinds of tasks. There are certain ones I can pull off at a coffee shop, but not the quick administrative things that a VA often has to do such as set appointments, screen email, organize calendars, etc.

Now there ARE pluses to working at a coffee shop. A fresh perspective. The opportunity to have a casual conversation when crossing paths with someone. A change of pace. I’ll probably blog about that at another time because I still do visit coffee shops regularly. But for now, the thoughts above help me decide when and where it’s best to utilize them.

Photo taken at Spill the Beans.

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