When I participated in the One Laptop Per Child’s Give One, Get One Program back in December 2007, they gave us one year of free T-Mobile hotspot access in addition to the computers. I was super psyched because, at that time, a T-Mobile subscription was the only way to access the web at Starbucks. Up until then I was limited to a handful of coffee shops in the area that had free wi-fi, but when you threw Starbucks into the mix there were hundreds of options within a half hour drive. I still find it refreshing to get out of the warehouse or my apartment to do work, but back then (pre-warehouse) I was working 100% from home, so it was necessary for my sanity to get out a few times a week and do work in a different setting.
Well, that one year subscription is finally up. Since T-Mobile is phasing out their wi-fi at Starbucks, it’s really not a big deal. I’ve just begun using my Starbucks card to get the 2 hours a day of free wi-fi that they’re offering to everyone now. At first I was kinda pissed because it turned my usual 3-4 hour trip into a 2 hour one.
But this past Saturday I went in early in the morning, knowing I only had 2 hours to work, and I got a crapload done (just like back in college when I had those 2 hour breaks between classes). It was like a timer was ticking down the entire time. I was super-focused. I had my headphones on and was completely zoned in. The 2 hour time limit made me want to get more done. It was a personal challenge to try to accomplish as much as I could possibly squeeze out of myself.
For me, this is mostly just a game I like to play. Arbitrary time restrictions force me to focus on the here and now and I get more done that way. However, if you’re a student or working full time and trying to get a business off the ground, you might only have 4 or 6 or 8 hours each week to work on starting and growing your business. And if that’s the case, these 2 hour intense work sessions might be just the solution you’re looking for. It’s easy to plan around your life because you know exactly when it’s going to start and when it’s going to end. You get 2 hours to accomplish as much as possible, not a second more.