I Tried a Productivity Tour - Here's How It Went


I've been feeling a little bit behind lately between getting a couple of new clients and finding time to have summer fun so I thought I would take advantage of the 4th of July "holiday" to try something a little different, a productivity tour! You may have heard of the Productivity Pub Crawl from Beyond the To Do List or the Productivity Retreat from Ryan McRae so I wanted to try my own version! I planned to get up at my normal 5am start time on the 4th, get to the gym and then make my way to a couple of coffee shops and cafes throughout the day to get some work done.

In both the Productivity pub crawl and the Productivity Retreat there's a certain level of planning and preparation involved because they recommend having a specific plan for either each day (if doing multiple days) or each location. They also say you should pack and be ready to go the night before, get a good night's sleep, have a healthy (but not too heavy) breakfast, etc.

I wanted to tackle some smaller to-do list items I had been putting off as well as look at some higher level big picture planning and strategizing. I wish I could tell you my productivity tour was amazing and inspiring, but that just wasn't the case!

Here's what I learned from my productivity tour:

Prepare and plan

Unfortunately I just didn't plan accordingly from the start. I went to a baseball game the night before which inevitably led to me staying up too late so I ended up sleeping in and skipping the gym. Now that might now be a big deal for some people but getting to the gym in the morning is my normal routine and always sets me off on the right foot so I just didn't feel like I was ready to crush the day from the beginning.

Scout your locations

I also just assumed I could stop into any coffee shop or cafe to work for a few hours before moving to the next location. I didn't consider the fact that some cafes might be too busy or wouldn't have good seating. Later in the day going to a coffee shop without a bathroom and an outlet was also just not an option. This resulted in a lot of wasted time scoping out working locations.

Know your working style

I thought this would be a fun way to play catch up and work on a holiday while trying out some new coffee spots. But I was in denial about is the amount of time it takes me to settle into a new location and get down to business aka how much time I spend procrastinating. Every time I moved to a new place it would take me at least 15 minutes to get settles and get focused again. And as I was packing up after each location, that added another 5-10 minutes of packing up and preparing to leave plus time to get to the next spot.

I tried going on a productivity tour to various coffee shops to get work done, find out how it went!

I tried going on a productivity tour to various coffee shops to get work done, find out how it went!

So, while the productivity tour was NOT a success in terms of getting work done, I did end up trying a few new coffee shops and cafes and had a nice day exploring a neighborhood I'm not in every day. But, I learned that I just get distracted too easily to be in a new place with new potential interruptions all around me. On a day where I need to get a lot done, it's clear now that I need to stick to my normal routine, buckle down in my apartment, and not come up for air or a break until I've made significant progress.

Have you ever tried a productivity tour, pub crawl or retreat? Did it work for you?