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Your Brain On Caffeine

Your Brain On Caffeine

Whether you prefer coffee or tea, getting a daily dose of caffeine is a ritual for many. Some find it hard to start the day without a little caffeine boost. Others can’t imagine making it through their afternoon without having a bit more.

Caffeine can provide a number of benefits to the mind and body, but it can also cause some issues. To better understand when you should, or should not, have a little more, consider how caffeine works in the brain.

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Increased Mental Alertness

The reason most people begin their day with caffeine is for increased mental alertness. Regardless of how you slept the night before, caffeine can increase your overall ability to focus, as well as maintain attention over a period of time. But these benefits are part of a delicate balance.

If you consume too much caffeine, you may find those benefits diminish. Caffeine overload can decrease your ability to focus, and can make it more challenging to pay attention to the task at hand. The amount you need to consume to experience the benefits, without overdoing it, depend on your regular caffeine consumption. Habitual consumers will need a higher dose to experience positive results, while non-habitual consumers can get by with less.

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The benefits can be applied to work situations, as well as non-work events. For example, you may be able to perform more effectively at your job with a bit of caffeine. You may experience similar benefits while pursuing a hobby at home.

Interrupted Sleep Activities

The consumption of caffeine can also interrupt normal sleep activities. While this can be helpful when you need to stay awake, such as working overtime at the office, it can be harmful if you cannot sleep at the right time.

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To help prevent caffeine from denying you a quality night’s sleep, you need to monitor your consumption throughout the day. While many studies focus on the time at which you should stop drinking caffeine, you also need to consider the total amount consumed over the course of the day.

Consuming large quantities through the day can be just as damaging as consuming caffeine too close to your normal bedtime. This is especially true of caffeine consumed in the afternoon.

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About Energy Drinks

Many energy drinks tout the inclusion of various vitamins and minerals that are supposed to promote alertness, as well as other natural compounds. It is important to realise that many of these drinks contain high amounts of caffeine, and can include large amounts of sugar. While this can make you feel more energised in the moment, they can also lead to significant crashes later in the day.

Now, not all energy drinks are the same. It is important to review all of the information on the packaging to make sure you fully understand what you are consuming. This allows you to make an educated decision regarding when you should, or should not, consider having a beverage of this kind.

Alternatives to Caffeinated Beverages

If you are looking for a drink without caffeine, there are a wide variety of options from which to choose. Many people do not consume enough water throughout the day, making it an excellent choice. Water can help keep you hydrated, which can also make you more alert throughout the day.

But many people enjoy the flavour of their favourite caffeinated beverages. In that case, choosing decaffeinated options may be ideal. Decaffeinated coffee has all of the taste of regular coffee, without any of the associated caffeine. Many varieties of tea are also available decaffeinated, including flavours that are more commonly consumed in a caffeinated form. This means you can still enjoy your ideal afternoon beverage without the negative effects on your sleep.

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Last Updated on April 8, 2020

11 Things Overachievers Do Differently

11 Things Overachievers Do Differently

We all know some overachievers: supermoms who manage to get online degrees between cleaning, cooking, and taking kids to practice; students who write 10-page papers when the directions call for 4; managers whose resumes look more like pages from the Guinness book of Records.

How do they do it all? How is it possible that one person can graduate at the top of their class, found an orphanage in India, run 30k marathons, write a best-selling book, travel all over the world and learn to speak Mandarin Chinese while having a full-time job?

What’s the secret of an overachiever? Here’re 11 things overachievers do differently that you can learn from.

1. They Know How to Manage Their Time

It’s pretty simple actually – you can never become an overachiever if you don’t know how to organize your time efficiently.

The great thing is that overachievers are ready to share their knowledge and time management talent with the rest of the world. Read The 4-Hour Workweek or The 4-Hour Body by Timothy Ferriss, and you’ll know what I’m talking about.

2. They Don’t Spend Hours Watching TV or Playing Computer Games

Mostly because they have better things to do, like exercising, reading, spending an evening with their family or volunteering to work in the local soup kitchen. Their philosophy is simple – the world is full of wonderful things to try, explore and experience. Watching TV is not one of them.

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3. They Are Obsessed With Perfection

Imagine Steve Jobs’ work approach and you’ll understand the level of perfection and painfully high standards that overachievers set for themselves and those around them. Often it pays off (especially if they focus on just one domain). But sometimes compulsive over-striving turns into a sure-fire road to disappointments and unfinished tasks.

Learn how to strike a balance: How Not to Let Perfectionism Secretly Screw You Up

4. They Know How To Inspire

Overachievers learn quickly that it is much easier to achieve goals through collaboration (and especially delegation). So they know how to inspire, encourage, persuade and motivate people around them. Even though they often drive their team crazy with their stubbornness and perfectionism, people quickly follow under the spell of their enthusiasm and greater vision.

Learn these 10 Powerful Ways to Influence People Positively.

5. They Set Clear Goals

The term “overachiever” itself implies that they know how to achieve goals. That is kind of hard to do if your goals are vague, unclear and lack specific deadline, which is why overachievers educate themselves, read goal-setting books, and think about the best way to approach a new task.

Although, it’s worth mentioning that overachievers usually use their time management and goal-setting skills towards competitive, “I want to kick butt” type of goals rather than self-improvement, mastery goals.

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Take a look at these tips to help you set clearer goals: What Are SMART Goals (And How to Use Them to Become Successful)

6. They Are Organized

It’s hard to imagine a disorganized overachiever, isn’t it? Their great organizational and planning skills usually serve three main purposes: keeping track of time, keeping track of progress and keeping track of achievements.

This hasn’t been confirmed by scientific research yet, but overachievers might actually get a “runner’s high” from crossing tasks off their to-do lists, and making new to-do lists.

Here’s How to Organize Your Life: 10 Habits of Really Organized People

7. They Try to Avoid Failure at All Costs

Some psychologists believe that overachievers place their self-worth on their competence, driven by an underlying fear of failure. Rather than setting and striving for goals based on a pure desire to achieve, their core motivation becomes avoiding failure. This may explain the fact that overachiever beat themselves up for even little setbacks and seemingly-insignificant mistakes.

But be aware that having a strong fear of failure can wrek havoc your productivity. So the best thing to do? Learn to conquer the fear: Why You Have the Fear of Failure (And How to Conquer It)

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8. They Love Awards

Who doesn’t love them, right? True enough, but unlike most people who like to feel acknowledged and appreciated for their efforts, overachievers are bent on collecting ‘awards’, be it university degrees, spelling bee prizes or unusual destinations.

While loving awares isn’t bad, it’s even better if you’re driven by internal motivation instead of external ones which could be quite uncontrolable or unstable: Why Is Internal Motivation So Powerful (And How to Find It).

9. They Don’t Understand the Concept of Work Hours

Don’t get surprised if you receive a work-related email anywhere between 8 p.m. and midnight. It’s something overachievers usually do and you weren’t the only one. At least 20 more emails have been sent during these hours to other people. The concepts of over-achieving and working overtime usually go hand in hand.

The downside of this is an imbalnced life, which may need to problems in other aspects of life including health and relationships. A better way is to Achieve a Realistic Work Life Balance.

10. They Rest

Overachievers might often be labeled as “workaholics”, because they often ignore bodily signs of hunger, fatigue and even a full bladder, hoping to finish just one last little part. This doesn’t mean that overachievers don’t know how to disconnect and relax.

True that they tend to work in the highest gear, but they also have enough sense to give themselves time to rest and recharge. Of course, they do it in their own overachieving way, preferring climbing Mount Kilimanjaro or hiking through the Amazon jungle to lazing on the beach.

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11. Overachievers Continuously Educate Themselves

A great quality that most overachievers have is the hunger for knowledge. They surround themselves with bright people. They know how to listen, and most importantly, they get tons of mentoring.

Despite the fact that overachievers want to excel at everything they set their minds on, they are humble enough to admit that to get on top of their game, they need help. And they are willing to pay someone to push, coach and guide them.

You too can learn How to Create a Habit of Continuous Learning for a Better You.

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Featured photo credit: Nghia Le via unsplash.com

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