For many of us, a cup of coffee is just a natural part of our daily routine. We may have it at home, on the go, at work, or mid-way through the day for a pick-me-up. Coffee and work go together like peanut butter and jelly.
But what if you need to stop drinking coffee? Or if you’ve made the decision that you want to cut back? The idea of getting through the workday without coffee may seem daunting, and even scary, but your productivity doesn’t have to suffer because of this change! Here are five ways to be more productive at work without coffee.
Re-evaluate your to-do list
To invigorate your productivity at work, it may not be more coffee that you need, but rather an overhaul of how you plan your days. Take a look at your current task-management system. Do you even have one? If not, starting with a daily to-do list, or some sort of task management system is a great place to start. By writing down (or typing out) your tasks for each day, using a system to prioritize them, and then working on your tasks in that order, you’ll fight the natural inclination to knock out the easy tasks first, or get bogged down in responding to emails.
A great tip for shaking up your daily task list is to make your to-do list for the next day; not in the morning, but the night before. By laying out your top priorities before you start the day, you’ll be able to get a proactive start in the morning, rather than a reactive one that’s determined by your email inbox.
Take frequent breaks
Often at work, you turn to coffee because you’re feeling bogged down or just plain tired. In many cases, a quick break can give you the same jolt of energy that a cup of coffee would (without any extra caffeine).
It may seem backward, but taking scheduled breaks can actually help improve your focus, concentration, and productivity. Research has shown that “taking short breaks during long tasks helps you to maintain a constant level of performance,” while working on the same task for a long period of time actually drains energy and may decrease your performance. So, if you want to supercharge your productivity without coffee, pay attention to how often you step away from your computer during the day, and make an effort to get up at least once every hour.
An interesting method to try if you want to force frequent breaks is the Pomodoro Method, which involves breaking your time up into productivity blocks, or work intervals. In this method, you set a timer and work for 25 minutes at a time, taking breaks in between. If you want to try productivity blocking, the Pomodoro Method is an easy and reliable place to start.
Go for a walk
If taking a break in the office just doesn’t seem appealing, don’t be afraid to get outside and take a quick walk to recharge your batteries. Fresh air helps to reinvigorate the senses, and natural oxygen in your blood will help you feel more awake and energized.
If you’re feeling very ambitious, you could always try going for a run at lunch or fitting in some other quick workout. Getting your blood moving can help you clear your head and refocus, leading to optimal performance at work without the help of caffeine. Just make sure your place of work has some facility available for you to freshen up post-sweat. Your coworkers will appreciate it!
Swap in tea
If you can’t fight the feeling that you need some sort of liquid energy boost, consider trying a midday tea instead of coffee. Certain teas, such as green tea or white tea, can provide a moderate caffeine boost, and offer tertiary health benefits as well. For example, green tea doesn’t have as much caffeine as coffee, but it has been shown to “increase fat burning and boost the metabolic rate.” By swapping coffee for tea, your waistline and your productivity can both benefit.
Limit alcohol consumption
Your performance at work is more affected by your habits outside the office than you may realize. For example, if you’re staying up late and not getting enough sleep, your ability to concentrate will suffer. If you’re eating unhealthy meals that are full of sugar or sodium, your body and mind will feel sluggish. And if you’re drinking alcohol often, the effects may spill over into your work life beyond just a headache or hangover. If you feel this applies to you, and you need help with a detox from alcohol, reach out to a friend, family member, or health professional to start your journey to increased wellness and productivity today.