If you’re someone who likes to start their day with coffee, you may be surprised to find that it could be counterintuitive to your productivity. While there are some fantastic benefits to consuming coffee, there are also some downsides that could be sabotaging your productivity rather than boosting it.
Below, you can learn about how to use caffeine to enhance your productivity and ways to avoid using it that lead to poorer cognitive function.
How To Use Caffeine To Improve Productivity
Delay Your First Cup of Coffee
Grabbing a cup of coffee first thing in the morning upon waking up can cause you to become more fatigued. This is because a stress hormone known as cortisol is released at high levels when you wake up.
When these cortisol levels are at a peak, consuming coffee will do little in terms of making you feel more awake. In fact, caffeine can counteract the release of cortisol in the mornings and make you feel more groggy.
For most people, their cortisol levels are at their peak from 8-9a.m. Therefore, delaying your cup of coffee until 9:30-10 a.m. onwards could be a more effective way to use caffeine to boost your energy.
You’ll be able to feel more energized and productive after letting your natural cortisol levels decrease and consuming caffeine afterward.
If you’re someone who feels like they need another cup or two of coffee later in the day, you could make it more effective by combining it with a nap.
It’s common to hit that afternoon slump where you feel sluggish and that’s where most of us reach for a caffeine hit in an attempt to feel revitalized. Well, it could be a good idea to drink a cup of coffee and take a short 15-minute nap right after.
Caffeine takes time to be absorbed into your body, so you won’t feel any of the stimulant effects while you try to take a nap. Upon waking up from the short nap, the caffeine has been given time to be properly absorbed and you’ll wake up feeling recharged and ready to be productive again.
This is an incredibly effective way to better utilize caffeine later in the day when you hit that wall of not being able to focus.
Set a Caffeine Cut-Off Time
While drinking coffee slightly later in the day and accompanying it with a nap can be great for your productivity, you’ll also want to be mindful of how late in the day it is.
Caffeine can remain in your system for up to six hours. Therefore, drinking coffee in the later afternoon means that it will still be in your body later at night when you’re trying to sleep.
Consuming caffeine after 4 p.m. can have a negative impact on your quality of sleep. You may feel too energized when you’re in bed as the caffeine is still working in your bloodstream. That’s why we recommend that you pay closer attention to how long the effects of caffeine last in your body.
For some people, they’ll be able to push their caffeine intake later into the afternoon and not have it interfere with their sleep. For others, caffeine may have a more potent effect on their body and disturb their quality of sleep which leads to poor energy the next day and thus, causing productivity to decrease.
Eat Food & Drink Water
Many caffeine lovers drink a cup of coffee in the morning completely on its own. This is a mistake that can hurt your productivity throughout the day.
We recommend that you properly hydrate your body when you first wake up in the morning because you’ve been dehydrated for hours while sleeping. You may even find that you feel energized just from drinking water in the morning which is great for pushing back your first cup of coffee for the day for when you need it more.
If you don’t eat anything and drink coffee, you could experience some negative side effects. Many people who drink coffee on an empty stomach suffer from feelings of sickness. On the rare occasion when you’re in a rush and need a caffeine fix, it may not be so detrimental to your health.
However, we recommend that you always try to eat breakfast and hydrate when drinking coffee as it can prevent you from feeling sick and lethargic. Hydrochloric acid is produced when you consume coffee on an empty stomach which is something that should only be produced when your body is digesting meals.
When the body is making too much hydrochloric acid due to regular cups of coffee on an empty stomach, it becomes less effective at breaking down food and the high acidity levels can cause stomach discomfort.
Ways That Caffeine Can Sabotage Your Productivity
Caffeine is a drug and it’s easy for people to become physically dependent on it without realizing it. If you’ve been drinking coffee regularly for a while, you will have noticed that the effects of caffeine have diminished.
This causes people to want to cut out caffeine altogether so that the next time they drink it, they can feel the energizing effects in full swing. However, if you’re physically dependent on caffeine, you may experience withdrawal side effects.
Therefore, it’s recommended to gradually decrease your caffeine intake until it’s low enough to cut it out completely. You can then start drinking coffee after a while and save it for the days that you really need it.
This is a fantastic way to avoid caffeine becoming ineffective and causing you to be less productive during the day.
Consuming too much caffeine can lead to anxiety and even panic attacks. Caffeine causes adrenaline to be produced which is a chemical in your brain that leads to the instinct of fight or flight.
When adrenaline is released in small amounts, you can use it as a way to stay more mentally focused and energized when completing tasks. However, people with a history of anxiety may be more sensitive to these increases in adrenaline and it can cause anxiousness, which is pretty counterproductive.
Furthermore, you may experience the jitters and a general feeling of uneasiness due to drinking too much coffee. These are effects that detract from your ability to concentrate and be productive.
Therefore, it would be a good idea to gradually decrease the quantity of caffeine that you’re consuming so that you can experience the revitalizing effects and avoid the negative ones.
Caffeine can provide you with some fantastic productivity and energy-boosting benefits. However, if you use caffeine incorrectly, it can also lead to a reduction in productivity.
You can use the tips mentioned above to use caffeine to your advantage and get more done on your to-do list every day.