On Coffitivity and Pomodoro Cycles

April 7, 2015 at 7:20 PM Leave a comment



It’s now been more than 3 years since I started working and/or studying in random coffee shops around town, mainly Espresso House in Stockholm. I don’t mean to advertise at all but it’s really one of those places that provide a cool environment for productive or social purposes. Coffee is great, free WiFi and… wait for it… great ambient mood for creativity. Turns out, this is a thing proven by science.

During the daily Interwebz surf routine yesterday, I stumbled upon an article explaining how to simulate a fake coffee shop ambient vibe to “boost your creative juices”. As the internet is what is, my curiosity led me deeper into that topic and it turns out there’s an 88-page, really boring, academic paper that supports the fact that people are more productive and creative in coffee shops, specifically with “a moderate (70 dB) versus low (50 dB) level of ambient noise enhances performance on creative tasks”.

This was kind of amazing to me since it would explain my conscious, albeit illogical, decisions to work in coffee shops despite it being sometimes being too crowded and/or having babies screaming their lungs out.. Subconsciously, my brain was telling me that this is better than a silent environment!

If you’re already thinking “this could be a good opportu…” there’s an app for that and it’s called Coffitivity. 

What the app does is simulate a fake “coffee shop” ambient environment through your speakers and into your head to give you that boost for whatever you’re doing. If someone had proposed that idea to me before, I would never have taken it seriously. The fact that it’s up, running and backed by science would have made me an idiot for thinking that. The name is creative, catchy and descriptive (along the same lines as Coffice ) and made me wish I had come up with this idea myself.

It’s available for iOS and Android devices.

Pomodoro Cycles


An interesting technique is the Pomodoro technique.

It’s basically a very simple time management technique that provides a work-break cycle that, quite frankly, is impossible not to like. Your work is cut out into chunks with short breaks (sounds good already?) and at the end of it, you get to take a longer break.


The idea is that you work for 25 minutes, take a 5-minute break, wash, rinse, repeat two more times and finally work for another 25 minutes and take a 15-minute (or longer) break.

Advantages of tomato-ing:

– Manage big, ugly tasks in easy-to-manage 25m chunks of time.

– Provides structure to ambiguous tasks.

– Psychological reward: Makes you sit your ass down and actually work by making you look forward to your break.

Disadvantage: makes you hungry by constantly reminding you of tomatoes (Don’t believe me?)

I Recommend:

– Trying to work in coffee shops that are half empty and not too loud, if you haven’t before. Try several times and see if that works for you before deciding.

– Trying the Pomodoro cycle with small tasks and expanding to bigger ones if it does it for you.

– If both are appealing, combine them and enjoy the results!

Hope you enjoyed the post. I wrote it in a coffee shop during 2 cycles and planning to stay here a while 🙂

Entry filed under: Mobile Tech & Trends, Web News & Trends. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

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