Most of the working world is dependent of coffee; and why not? It is a shot of energy when you need it the most. Coffee adds focus so that you’re alert and can get through that pile of work sitting on your desk. But that’s not all there is about coffee. Here are some things you need to know about how coffee is affecting your work.
Helps You Learn Faster
Studies show that you can learn faster when you’re drinking a cup of Joe. This is probably the reason why there are so many coffee shops near schools and universities. The study suggests that the brain on coffee works overtime to help you learn faster while improving information retention. It works the same way if you’re a student or employee so everybody that needs to learn something fast can take advantage of it.
A study published in the journal PLOS shows that 200 milligrams of caffeine is enough to prod the brain to identify words and phrases faster. Aside from improved memory retention, the study also showed increased ability to solve reason-based problems.
Research from MIT supports the idea that coffee consumption can help people become more creative individually and in a group setting. For some people, coffee stimulates the brain by improving focus and making way for creative thinking.
Helps With Alertness
Contrary to popular belief, coffee does not wake you up. However, it does stop adenosine (a compound in your brain) from making you sleepy. This substance builds up in your brain throughout the day lowering energy levels and making you sleepy. During the morning, you feel sleepy from the leftover adenosine in your brain. In the afternoons, the buildup makes you sleepy which is why you need another shot of coffee. Aside from increasing your focus, it can also ramp up your brain’s energy levels. More energy for the brain means more focus, improved problem solving and general cognitive function skills.
A study from MIT discovered that employees that take coffee breaks together are more productive. The study followed groups of people working in a call center. They found that groups who had coffee breaks together had better performance compared to employees who took coffee breaks alone. Next time you decide to get to know a co-worker with a glass of wine after work, socialize over a cup of coffee instead to perform better while learning about them.
Eases Desk Pain
Do you ever wonder why computer programmers keep sipping cups of coffee while sitting at their desks? This is because consuming coffee has been found to ease pain in the neck, forearms, wrists and shoulders which are often associated with sitting long hours on a desk. A study by the University of Georgia discovered that moderate caffeine consumption can help reduce up to 48% of muscle pain. But before you chug another cup of coffee, you need to know that caffeine tolerance makes a difference. Habitual coffee drinking can negate the pain relieving experience because you are building up a tolerance.
Coffee Can Make A Stressful Situation More Stressful
Coffee can “exaggerate sympathetic adrenal-medullary responses” to the stressful situations of daily life. This is because caffeine increases blood pressure and spikes adrenalin levels which in turn increase your stress levels. This effect can stay even if you’ve left the office. As we know, high stress levels can interfere with performance and productivity so it’s best to limit your coffee intake at work.
OK With Sleep Deprivation
Drinking coffee makes you okay with sleep deprivation. Over the course of you’re career, you’ve probably stayed late to finish a report or presentation which in turn made you sleep later. Knowing that we have coffee to help us survive another day at work on little sleep makes us comfortable with the situation. However, making a habit of it can be detrimental to your career. Sleep deprivation can make you lose focus, decrease productivity and cause physical and mental health complications.
According to the UK’s National Health Service, the best time for coffee is at 2pm when you’re energy levels are at their lowest. While coffee is a good stimulant, too much caffeine can be bad for you. Limit yourself to 2 cups a day for optimal results in the workplace.
Airport Hacks Only Pro Travelers Know About
Do you want to skip long queues, drink for free, get good prices on seats or learn how to get a free upgrade to first class? If so, read on because we’ve compiled some of the best airport hacks for business traveling. These tips can help you save money and make your trip a bit more comfortable.
1. Sign Up for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry
If you want to skip long lines, signing up for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry will allow you to breeze through security lines. Once approved, you are whisked ahead and there is no need to take off your shoes or remove your laptop from its case. It makes business travel easy and more civilized. The US, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, the Netherlands, and other countries have similar pre-scanning programs that work with Global Entry.
The TSA PreCheck makes traveling domestically simpler while Global Entry makes returning from an international trip easier as it eradicates paperwork and long queues. Basically, they are clearance from the US Customs and Border Protection that designate people as low-risk travelers. All it takes is a background check, interview, and payment of fees and you can clear customs in a hurry.
2. Boarding Pass
Boarding passes like tickets are downloadable and printable nowadays. However, we are still a slave of technology and many of us have had embarrassing moments where we can’t find our boarding pass on our phone or the app suddenly hangs. Avoid these embarrassing moments by taking a screenshot of your pass and showing it to the boarding gate. Screenshots are easier to find and don’t require the use of an internet connection.
3. Pay For First Class Lounge
This airport hack comes in handy if you travel a lot. The first-class lounge costs around $30-$50 and has access to free drinks (including alcohol), internet, comfortable seats, and free food. In some airports, there are even shower rooms and quiet rooms for sleeping. If you have a long layover, the first-class lounge can be money well spent. Business traveling in style.
4. Book the Red-Eye
Taking the red-eye can be less stressful than taking other flights. Taking the last flight in or out helps you avoid the hustle and bustle of the airport and roads. Choose late-night flights especially if it’s an overnighter. If it leaves at 10 pm, you can avoid rush hour traffic, lines at security and check-in will be minimal and the airport will be less crowded and you can fall asleep during your flight and wake-up at your destination.
5. Save On Internet Fees
Roaming for your cellular device can be very expensive for data and the internet. Instead of racking up charges, sign up for Boingo, a wifi hotspot provider. They charge around $4.98 per month for internet access in the Americas and $59 a month for worldwide coverage. Check your American Express platinum card if you can get a subscription for free so you can network while you’re in the air.
Check if your airline has a loyalty program. This will encourage you to travel more frequently as you rack up the miles and get more perks. Keeping this in mind will make your business trips cost less and traveling easier.
Also, if you’re using free airport security, check this article first.
8 Unusual Skills 99% Of Successful People Have
Ever wonder what separates the top achievers of the world from the rest of us? Sure, they’re super organized and can plan, execute, and achieve their goals faster than everyone. But even if you can be as organized as them, you still might not achieve the same level of success unless you also have these unusual skills.
Time Management (important organizational skills)
It’s no wonder the top performers are also hyper-efficient at managing their time. No hours or minutes of their day are wasted to social media or just lounging around. Now you certainly don’t need to plan your schedule out by the minute, but you should start managing your time like the pros. And how exactly do the pros manage their time?
By writing it down using a pen and paper, using their calendar, and using a time/task management app. You can start with just one and then eventually adopt all three habits to squeeze the most out of your day.
Paying CLOSE Attention
How exactly does paying attention considered an organizational skill? Imagine if you had the laser focus attention to pick up on all the little details of a conversation the first time. Imagine how much more information you’d be able to digest throughout your day. And imagine how much better and thought-provoking your questions would be if you could pay close attention.
Being able to pay close attention is an undervalued and often overlooked skill. But this trait is common among the overachievers. You’ll only need to explain things once to them. They save time and their depth of understanding is significantly deeper than those around them.
The ability to pay attention makes you formidable at your job and also makes you appear smarter and wiser beyond your years.
Furthermore, Team Management is another key skill required in an efficient employee. You should be able to fit and function in diverse teams. You should be able to split the responsibility with your teammates properly. You should understand the strengths and weaknesses of each of your teammates. The co-workers should have enough space to work independently and deliver the project on time.
Another great skill is Prioritization. An efficient person knows how to arrange their work and which one needs the utmost attention. You should be able to work in such a way so that every task is delivered on time and in a productive manner. Problems can crop up at any stage of any project and potentially delay the delivery. A person with excellent organizational skills should plan and supervise their team to deal with the emergency.
In addition to prioritizing everything, an efficient manager should be able to communicate expectations and deadlines to subordinates. You should understand every step and put forward each point clearly to the team. You should be able to effectively communicate with higher officials, peers, clients, and subordinates. Check this article to learn more on how to communicate effectively.
Networking skills are required not only for finding a suitable job or getting customers, but the scope of networking is much vast. You should carefully cultivate a business relationship and maintain it with a definite goal. You can discuss innovations with your business contacts and get relevant updates on new technologies.
Decision making is crucial to any company’s long-term success. Sometimes you need to take tough decisions regarding the management of the business. You should not be over-critical about the performance of the team. The managers need to analyze the situation properly and respond quickly to the situation.
Finally, if you want to organize your team effectively, you need to be ahead of your team. You should have enough information about the latest trends in the industry. Be attentive to the innovations and updates. You need to use the internet regularly and visit the library often. You also need to learn how to leverage your business network.
How To Cater To The Introverts In The Office
Employees are the backbone of a company. Introverts contribute greatly to the business even if you don’t see them clamoring for attention or mingling with investors. If you run a small or big business, there is always a chance of running into an introvert employee. According to research, over 50% of individuals are introverts even though many them force themselves to act as extroverts.
Introverts are usually associated with quiet or reflective personalities. They usually do well in computer programming, software development, consulting and psychology probably because they require a quiet working atmosphere. Here are ways you can create an introvert-friendly office.
Avoid Unnecessary Surprises
Introverts like to have adequate time to prepare for everything work-related. This means that they don’t like unnecessary surprises like last-minute meetings, or being thrown a project on the fly. As much as possible, schedule meetings or presentations ahead of time to give introverted team members time to prepare. You can also invite them to have input on scheduling to make them feel more comfortable. By giving them the ball they will feel confident when it’s their time to shoot it.
Give Face Time
Employees who are introverts are not shy or hesitant to voice their opinion. They just want to do it in a more private setting. A one-on-one setting allows employees to set the agenda which allows introverts to feel more comfortable when it comes to sharing their ideas and concerns.
Introverts should not be mistaken for shy people. Shy people are awkward, worried or tense during social encounters. Introverts are not shy. On the contrary, they can be sociable especially in the right circumstances. An introvert is an individual who gains energy from being alone because they like introspection and solitude.
Allow Them To Personalize Their Workspace
The workspace should be a safe haven for introverts. While many employers allow their employees to personalize their workspace, this is even more important to introverts. By letting them surround their workspace with things they love or find comfortable, you are giving them a safe space where they can escape and maybe pretend that they are in their own safe haven and not in the workplace surrounded by so many people. In case of an open floor plan office, provide quite enclaves where introverts can recharge and be by themselves or a semi-private area for solo work.
Respect their Space
Introverts perform best when they are left alone to work. In this connection, you have to learn to trust them once you’ve set the deadline. However, this does not mean to say that you can’t check on progress from time to time. Instead of dropping on them unannounced or demanding for a progress report on the spot, you can avoid frustration from everybody involved by scheduling check-ins at different intervals. Respecting their space and trusting introverts to do the assigned work to them will make them feel more comfortable and can greatly improve their self confidence which can lead to better productivity.
Challenge With Detail Oriented Projects
According to studies, introverts excel in problem solving and strategizing. Keep them happy and challenged by assigning detailed, analysis-heavy assignments. Give them a time-frame with regular check-ins and autonomy and watch your introverted employees deliver top notch report. However, you also have to remember that in order to achieve the best results; you also have to give your employees the right environment to accomplish this kind of job. If they want peace, seclusion and privacy, you should give it to them so that they can deliver accordingly.
More than anything, it is always best to talk to your introverted employees. Finding out how they prefer to work and incorporating their ideas to your workplace can help them function better, become more efficient and productive. All companies function and perform better when their employees are happy and satisfied with their work.
Taking into account your introverted employees’ ideas can be very beneficial to your organization. Whatever industry you are in, it is in your company’s best interest to play to their strengths instead of overlooking them. Using the above mentioned strategies can be a starting point to creating an introvert-friendly environment in your office.