A unique cafe in Japan has been drawing attention in recent weeks. The Manuscript Writing Cafe offers little by way of food or drink (just self-service coffee or tea), but what it does offer is concentration and motivation for writers struggling to finish their work. Patrons pay a small hourly fee and write down their goals (and how strictly they want them enforced) as they enter. Services include an hourly check-in or having someone stand silently behind you as you work. The catch is that patrons are not allowed to leave until they’ve met their goals.

While our new work-from-home practices have brought relief and freedom to many, I suspect there’s great potential for franchises of this cafe. Enough procrastination — get back to work!

David Crotty

David Crotty

David Crotty is a Senior Consultant at Clarke & Esposito, a boutique management consulting firm focused on strategic issues related to professional and academic publishing and information services. Previously, David was the Editorial Director, Journals Policy for Oxford University Press. He oversaw journal policy across OUP’s journals program, drove technological innovation, and served as an information officer. David acquired and managed a suite of research society-owned journals with OUP, and before that was the Executive Editor for Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, where he created and edited new science books and journals, along with serving as a journal Editor-in-Chief. He has served on the Board of Directors for the STM Association, the Society for Scholarly Publishing and CHOR, Inc., as well as The AAP-PSP Executive Council. David received his PhD in Genetics from Columbia University and did developmental neuroscience research at Caltech before moving from the bench to publishing.


1 Thought on "Struggling to Meet a Deadline? Japan’s Manuscript Writing Cafe is Here to Help"

I am sure this resonates with many! I recently attended a conference where there was a daily time slot allocated to group mono-tasking: 1hr of group silence with a singular focus which you shared in the chat with other participants. It was a pretty neat approach to ensuring work still got done without impacting conference concentration time.

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