As a kid, coffee was that black stuff that adults drank at breakfast. Later on, if it isn’t your first term paper or a hangover that introduces you to coffee, it’s probably going to be that work project you need to get done for your boss.
In terms of productivity, coffee is like a one-hit wonder. It works instantly and gives you a few hours of energy and clarity. But when it wears off, prepare for the worst. At the least it could be a bout of sleepiness, at most it could be a total K.O.
It probably isn’t the best idea to take another cup when you come crashing down from your coffee high. If you’re looking to burn the midnight oil or even just get through the dreaded afternoon siesta, here are some easy coffee alternatives to keeping your productivity up:
Apples don't have caffeine in them, but they are loaded with calories, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals to keep you energized naturally. Plus it’s a quick snack you can have anywhere, in between tasks or to munch on during a conference call (just make sure you’re on mute).
Black tea or Green tea
Coffee isn't your only go-to source for caffeine. There's tea too. It won't have as much caffeine as your usual cup of coffee, which means less of the shaking and the palpitations, and no fear of crashing. Try a few cups of tea during those crazy long meetings or through an email-answering marathon and you’ll find it gives you more relaxed focus to your tasks. Plus, tea is packed with antioxidants that double your productivity. Not only are you getting things done but fighting disease while you're at it!
If you want to wake up, nothing is going to wake you up like a few pushups. At the office, why not do a few pushups beside your desk or run 100 times through the revolving door at your office lobby just to get your blood circulation going in your brain. Getting your daily dose of cardio is great for increasing your energy in the long run. Even a few quick games at a nearby arcade’s Just Dance will do! Getting the body moving will get the brain moving.
A good laugh
Let's admit it, we all sneak in a bit of Facebook, reddit, 9gag or YouTube during office hours. Although you shouldn’t quote Kalibrr when we say it’s not a bad thing, it really could do you good to have a nice hearty chuckle. A laugh wakes you up and raises your happiness level, putting you in a good mood again to get things done. Put those funny viral videos to even better use.
Give yourself a deeper and more genuine rush, by getting inspired. Watch a few TED videos, learn something new or read an article about something you’re passionate about. I personally recommend giving a loved one a call to catch up. There’s nothing that makes you jump off your seat more than a sense of purpose.
Yes, ladies, it is true. And there is science to prove it. Dark chocolate contains a bit of caffeine and Theobromine which is known to raise serotonin levels. The same chemical responsible for maintaining a balanced mood. But I don’t have to sell a chocolate break to you, a bite of chocolate is convincing enough.
We all have our own tricks to liven up the daily grind. If you have your own non-caffeinated pick-me-uppers, feel free to share in the comments below.