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11 Things that Make you More Productive than Coffee

  1. 11 Things that Make you More Productive than Coffee 11 Things that Make you More Productive than Coffee Wishpond Technologies
  2. An AppleAn Apple
  3. Coffee perks you up. Nobody’s denying that. The issue is that reliance on coffee in the morning has negative repercussions throughout the day. For instance, coffee contains a negligible amount of calories, which means a coffee breakfast results in low blood sugar mid-morning. Apples, however, have about 116 calories alongside carbohydrate energy (which perks you up without letting you down in an hour). Apples also contain three types of sugar (sucrose, glucose, and fructose). Sucrose and glucose give you that early pep, and fructose takes longer to digest, resulting in longer-lasting zip.
  4. Green TeaGreen Tea
  5. While green tea does contain caffeine, there’s substantially less than coffee, which means you won’t get the jittery, slightly anxious side effects you may with coffee. One recent study published in the journal Psychopharmacology also found green tea is effective at improving memory, cognition and boosting mental alertness.
  6. ExerciseExercise
  7. A 2011 Swedish study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine showed that physical activity during the workday increased productivity. A 2013 study in the British Medical Journal found that even short bursts of physical activity (like 15 to 20 minutes) resulted in improved blood flow and concentration. Improved productivity lasts for 2-3 hours post-exercise.
  8. BreakfastBreakfast
  9. Eating breakfast stimulates your metabolism and makes you less likely to overeat later in the day (avoiding the typical post-lunch hour of uselessness). Sure that morning jolt of caffeine can give you a boost, but so can foods rich in vitamin B such as oatmeal, bananas, pineapple, and avocados. Having a good source of vitamin B in the morning can also improve your concentration and help you think more clearly.
  10. A BreakA Break
  11. One 2011 study from the University of Illinois showed prolonged attention to a single task hindered performance whereas brief diversions that deactivate and reactivate mental resources improved participants’ ability to focus. Get up. Swing your arms. Go for a short walk. Talk to a colleague about something unrelated to work. Get a green tea. Clear your mind and come back rejuvenated (even if it’s only a few minutes).
  12. ChocolateChocolate
  13. Dark chocolate contains a small amount of caffeine to heighten mental alertness, but it also stimulates the release of serotonin; feel-good endorphins which heighten your mood. A 2007 study from the University of Nottingham found drinking cocoa rich in flavonoids (a key ingredient in dark chocolate) boosts blood flow to key areas of the brain for two to three hours which can help increase performance and boost general alertness.
  14. HeatHeat
  15. Is your business trying to save money? Turning down the heat, it seems, isn’t the answer. Cornell University researchers found employees working in offices with a temperature of 68 degrees committed 44% more errors and were less than half as productive as employees working in a warm office (of 77 degrees). When the body’s temperature drops, it uses up energy to stay warm. This leaves the brain with less energy to concentrate or to be creative. If you can’t raise the office temperature, be sure to pack a sweater or get a space heater.
  16. Things that Taste Like Coffee (but aren’t) Things that Taste Like Coffee (but aren’t)
  17. It doesn’t really matter what coffee substitute you choose (and there are dozens). The point is to give yourself something caffeine-free that tastes like coffee but isn’t. This works to perk you up because there’s evidence that the primary effect of coffee is placebo. Whether it’s smell, heat, taste or timing, it’s entirely possible that your body’s reaction to your daily cup of joe is all in your head.
  18. Yerba MateYerba Mate
  19. Yerba mate, the herbal tea-like drink popular in South America and startups worldwide has a bit of caffeine, and a lot of “mineral components” which (depending on who you talk to) may improve awareness and mental energy. Yerba mate also has the benefit of faintly resembling coffee (which may impact the placebo effect mentioned just a second ago).
  20. A NapA Nap
  21. We all know that lack of sleep has long-lasting repercussions. The National Sleep Foundation recommends 7-9 hours per night, as less has been proven to increase the likelihood of mistakes, make it difficult to focus and lower productivity to the tune of $1,967 per employee per year. But If 8 hours isn’t possible, a solid power nap in the middle of the day is a good place to start. A study from NASA showed that even 26 minutes of shut-eye improves performance by 34% and alertness by 54%. A 2008 study showed a nap is even more powerful than caffeine when it comes to boosting learning capacity and memory.
  22. LaughterLaughter
  23. Laughter reduces endorphins, which (alongside making us happy) are responsible for lowering stress levels. Laughter also stops the flow of cortisol, dopac and epinephrine (the stress hormones). Laughter also triggers the chemical catecholamine, which enhances awareness. And it doesn’t matter if we’re laughing at a hilarious joke or faking a guffaw at an anecdote our CEO has told a million times. As far as our brain’s concerned, laughter is laughter.
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