There are thousands of articles out there on the internet that tell you that if you want to be more productive in your workplace you should stop drinking coffee and drink more water. I’m here to tell you that is wrong. Incorrect. Rubbish.
Coffee, whether you like it or not, keeps economies, businesses and individuals going. It is the fuel for our minds, our creativity and ingenuity. It’s what gets you out of bed in the morning. It helps you get more done, in less time. Fact.
Consider that you’re at your desk, staring at your computer monitor. You’re stuck. Your mind is either flooded with chaotic thoughts that need structure, or it’s empty and you’re having a “derrrr…. what the hell am I doing again?” moment.
Next you have an internal debate over what to do next and finally decide that your current state is crap and it needs to change, it needs a boost, it needs direction. So, you decide coffee is the answer. You stand up. Instantly blood flows to bits of your body that have been still and dormant for hours. Woooo, what a rush. You’re legs, arms, back and neck get the movement, blood supply and oxygen they’ve been craving and you straight away start to feel more alert. You’ve just give yourself an energy boost.
You look around you and take in your surroundings. Gaining perspective on your situation and environment and bringing you back to the present. Your workplace, your job, your colleagues, their banter, it all helps to take you out of your haze and bring you back to earth. The thoughts that were cramming your mind before are suddenly quieted, and filed away for later. You’re focused.
Time to walk to the coffee machine. More blood flows through your body. Wait… you don’t want a crappy instant coffee, you want the good stuff. You ask a colleague if they want to join you, after all, you’re doing them a favour by helping them become more productive too. The two of you head out of the office and to the coffee shop. You talk along the way. Ahh distractions… without them we’d be stuck in a place of no change. Without you even knowing it, the crazy, misguided thoughts you had before you decided to get a coffee are quietly organising themselves, sorting and prioritizing themselves and bringing the next most relevant and pressing action to the top of the queue. If your brain was empty, the tumbleweed that was in your head has found a place to grow and become a sprouting tree of ideas, but it’s still very quiet, waiting for the right time to surprise you.
You’ve stepped outside of the building. Ah… fresh air! A completely different sensation runs over your skin and invigorates you (though, if it’s a hot, dry horrible air, like it can be here in Australia, maybe it won’t). The burst of different air gives you another distraction and the change in environment further encourages your mind to sort out it’s mess of tasks.
With your coffee ordered, your body gets a chance to absorb and rejoice in the movement it has experienced and your mind delights in the quality conversation you’re having with your colleague.
Taking a sip of your coffee now awakens your palate. You consider the smell, the flavour, texture and consistency of the contents of the warm cup you hold in your hands. All your senses are interpreting the coffee, feeling it and enjoying it. After parting ways with your colleague, you take your coffee back to your desk and sit down, closing your eyes and taking one more sip to complete the journey before you open your eyes and see your computer monitor staring back at you again, just the same way that you left it (sans any screen-savers or password prompts). But alas! What was it you had to do next? And after that? Instantly, the file of thoughts or tree of ideas jumps forward, showing you exactly what you need to do next and how it should be done.
Coffee is the backbone of our productivity, both at home and in the workplace. It forces us to get up from our desks, remove ourselves from a problematic situation and take a break, if only for a few minutes. Now, you could argue up to this point that you can replace “coffee” with any drink and it would have the same effect. To some degree that is true. But, coffee has added productivity super powers.
- It’s packed full of antioxidants
- It’s even more packed with caffeine goodness (a proven productivity booster)
- It’s just plain awesome and super tasty
The refresher that you’ve just been on to get your coffee should keep you productive for a few hours. But the inevitable slump and energy sapping, mind-numbing, chaos of the everyday will soon rear its ugly head again. And when it does, you know you can dive into your productivity arsenal and defeat that unproductive, uncaring monster with coffee!
Now, let’s go grab a cappuccino…