Tell a caffeine addict she can’t drink a cup of coffee first thing in the morning and things could get a little ugly—or maybe not.
Coffee is more than just a fetishized drink or a daily ritual. It has the power to transform your productivity. But maybe we’ve been going about it all wrong.
Researcher Steven Miller of the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences in Bethesada found that because our bodies already produce natural hormones that make us feel more alert at certain times in the day, we should curb our caffeine consumption during these times so as not to diminish its effect when we need it most.
He found that the best times to drink coffee (or any caffeinated beverage) for those who wake up between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m. is from 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. and between 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., since this is when our cortisol levels usually drop off and we begin to feel sluggish.
In other words, having a cup of coffee when you first get up doesn’t actually make you feel more awake.
While the science behind this seemed pretty sound, we wanted to know if the payoff for adjusting our coffee consumption is worth the sacrifice. Some were able to pull it off and loved the results, while others weren’t even able to make a dent in the challenge.
Showing 52 posts tagged productivity
Paul Ford, Doomed to Repeat It
Why not avoid work altogether, or at least live knowing that presence is more intricate and rewarding an art than productivity?
What is going on here? Why all these talent challenges at the beginning of an economic recovery? Shouldn’t people be pretty excited to see new jobs being created?
Our conclusion, after looking at the data and talking with many companies, is that workers today want more. They want something different. They are demanding, they want meaningful work, and they expect their employer to make work more rewarding in many ways.
New research suggests that exceeding what you promised adds little or no benefit.
The new study was spurred by one of the nation’s largest companies, Amazon, and its tendency to exceed its promise in respect to delivery times.
The bottom line, according to Epley, is that exceeding a promise may not be worth the effort you put in. “Invest efforts into keeping promises, not in exceeding them,” he said.
We believe that we should work to be happy, but could that be backwards? In this fast-moving and entertaining talk from TEDxBloomington, psychologist Shawn Achor argues that actually happiness inspires productivity.
Small Changes Ripple Outward: Creating lasting positive change
- 3 Gratitudes (daily)
- Journaling (1 positive thing daily)
- Random Acts of Kindness
During my first two years of teaching, it seemed as if I had no personal life. The demands of learning the craft required so much of my time and energy that I would often work 12 to 15 hours a day, with little energy or free time left over. I felt stressed and personally unfulfilled. I started to question whether teaching was a viable career for me.
This year—my third—I decided that things would be different.
image via flickr:CC | Flotographic Arts
We found that, on a bad-weather day, people are better at focusing on their work not because the weather makes them grumpy but because they have fewer distracting thoughts about what they might otherwise be doing outside. Indeed, cognitive distractions and error rates were greater on nice days than on bad-weather days.
Given that the weather is beyond their control, how can managers leverage this information?
image via flickr:CC | NASA gsfc
In a pair of studies over a broad spectrum of U.S. workers, Michigan State University’s Russell Johnson, Ph.D., and colleagues found that people who monitored their smart phones for business purposes after 9 p.m. were more tired and were less engaged the following day on the job.
“Because they keep us mentally engaged late into the evening, they make it hard to detach from work so we can relax and fall asleep.”
image via flickr:CC | nayrb7
Got a mac? Use these apps to help keep you focused on tasks, make sure you take breaks, and boost your productivity!