Distractions often overwhelm our productivity at home, at school or even at the office. Sometimes the only way to get work done is to spend a few hours at a local coffee shop. Cafes each have their own unique vibe, which can affect your productivity level. Here are some things to keep in mind when you’re choosing your next study spot.

Lighting

Lighting is an important factor to consider when choosing a coffee shop study spot. Some people are most productive when they can sit next to big windows that let in lots of natural sunlight. Other people prefer a darker setting with a more studious vibe. Many coffee shops have areas to fit both of these preferences.

Seating

If you’re going to a café with the intention of being productive, you will likely be sitting for hours on end. That means that the chairs inside a coffee house matter. If the chairs are all too rigid, you’ll be uncomfortable. Your discomfort could easily lead to distraction and you leaving early. If the chairs in the café are too soft, you will be more prone to spend your time dozing off than doing work. The ideal coffee house will have chairs that fall somewhere in the middle of comfort and practicality.

Matt Westenburg

Parking

When it’s crunch time, nobody has the patience to circle the block looking for a parking space. When you head back to your car after a long stretch of studying and working, you don’t want to be greeted with a parking ticket in your windshield. The parking situation at each coffee house factors into your decision of which cafe to visit. A large, free parking lot that’s right outside the café is everyone’s dream, but usually isn’t available. In the winter, you might choose to pay for parking closer to the door. In the summer, it might be worth saving a little extra money to walk a few more blocks.

5 local favorites

Wifi, plenty of outlets, noise level and available space to work are other things to keep in mind when deciding which coffee house to visit. Here are five of our favorite coffee shop study spots in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Mo Java Cafe

Mo Java Café has free parking and great food and drinks. Large windows let plenty of natural light inside but the space is not very cozy.

Matt Westenburg

The Coffee House

The Coffee House has a great selection of coffee, tea and pastries. The atmosphere is warm and inviting. There are many tables in this café but they fill up fast around finals time. Parking downtown near The Coffee House can be a challenge.

The Bay

The Bay is a skate park, a music venue and a coffee shop all in one. This cool coffee house has a sleek, modern feel that’s as hip as its customers. It’s a great place to bury yourself in your work.

Crescent Moon

Crescent Moon Coffee is located in the Haymarket. Although parking and seats are limited, the drinks are delicious and this cozy café is a quiet study place.

Destinations

Destinations is located in the North Bottoms. It’s convenient for students but slightly out of the way for everyone else. This coffee house has free parking and lots of natural light.