How Coffee Is Hurting Your Productivity

How Coffee Is Hurting Your Productivity


Do you always run for a cup of coffee whenever you feel overwhelmed with work? A simple disorientation on your part could leave the project in jeopardy. Perhaps this is the reason why most of us find coffee to be our best beverage. That’s why many employees grab the nearest cup of coffee for its stimulating effects. Unfortunately, it’s not in our nature to accept just how addicted we’ve become to these aromatic beans. An addiction to coffee is just like an addiction to any other drug. And the effects can be quite overwhelming.


Coffee Evokes Nervousness

Debra A. Boutin, MS, RD, dietetic internship director at Bastyr University, together with her dietetic intern Leah Goldstein, writes that even though coffee can be an energy boost when you need it the most, it can also cause nervousness and heart palpitations. If you know you get anxious easily, too much coffee can worsen your state of mind- making you jittery and irritated. Now the question is, how are you expected to finish that 2000 word article in 3 hours if you are pacing up and down almost half of the time?

A nervous person will tend to get restless. Maintaining your discipline is not easy- especially if you have more than one task to accomplish. You keep doing this or that, and then halfway through, you realize you had another task pending, and start all over again. Such unproductive cycles can lead to delayed project submission, which might have serious repercussions in your career. I mean, who would like to hire an employee who can’t even finish a single task on time?

Nervousness similarly invokes self-doubt. Self-doubt is one thing you as a writer cannot afford to accommodate unless you want to see your career as a freelancer go down the gutter. With self-doubt, you keep on generating and discarding ideas. When you finally decide to settle on one idea, you realize you only have an hour of the 3 hours you were given to complete your task. Panic creeps in, and as we all know, panic is the major killer.  


Inability To Focus Can Be Bred By Too Much Coffee

Picture this, you set out to complete several tasks today, but because you had too much coffee, and it’s doing quite a number on your system, you miss out and overlook important details to some of your projects. Lack of focus spells out trouble. Yes, you probably wrote down the instructions in uppercase so as to remember each one of them, but how do you plan on proofreading your finished content if the coffee you took is making you unable to focus. Avoid too much coffee if you want to complete error free tasks on time.

Have you ever tried concentrating on anything while your stomach rumbles and pains? Twisting and turning best characterizes you if you are suffering from stomach discomforts. Will you focus on writing or looking for the best postures that make your stomach settle? If you are on medication, you need to realize that some chemical compounds in specific drugs could react negatively with coffee, hence resulting in serious stomach upsets and health complications.

Konnikova, a writer with the New Yorker, states that “while caffeine has numerous benefits, it appears that the drug might undermine creativity more than it stimulates it. Caffeine also prevents focus from being too diffuse; it instead hones our attention in a hyper-vigilant fashion.”

Now there is no saying how much coffee is too much coffee. This is because our bodies can tolerate the effects of coffee on varying scales. Too much coffee for me might not be enough for you while the vice versa could be true.


Mitigate Your Coffee Addiction

What you need to know is that while coffee has some great health benefits, it has major downsides too. An addiction to coffee disrupts workflow. There are a few ways you could try to cut down on your coffee intake. First of all, get yourself a coffee maker and make your coffee at home. This way you can regulate the concentration of your coffee.

In addition, you can try the following;

  • Start out by drinking one less cup of coffee per day.
  • Try alternating your drinks and grab a cup of tea or a bottle of water when the craving strikes.
  • Get a breath of fresh air. Instead of using your break to wait for the kettle to boil, go outside and listen to your favorite song.
  • Don’t drink coffee after work hours. This will disrupt your sleep which will lead to you ‘needing’ more coffee the following morning.

Ultimately, the question you need to ask yourself is ‘how valuable is your addiction compared to your dedication?’ As a dedicated freelancer, you have to do everything to satisfy your clients. This includes, above all, submitting projects in good time. An addiction to coffee may be a big hindrance to that, so choose wisely.

Sarah is the editor of Coffee obsessed, she is always writing or learning new things about it. She loves to travel, partly to learn about the coffee culture around the world, and of course to indulge in it as much as possible.

2 Replies to “How Coffee Is Hurting Your Productivity”

    1. Have you found other ways to boost your creativity? I’d love to hear. I haven’t been drinking coffee for about 6 months now, that includes caffeine in many types of tea as well. 😉 I do miss the comfort of it though.

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