Coffee As Productivity Trigger

2 minute read.

What a great premise for a blog post. A cou­ple of weeks ago I had one of the most un­pro­duc­tive weeks I had in a very long time.

I did not have ac­cess to my espres­so ma­chine and de­cid­ed to take a break from cof­fee. Hav­ing my pro­duc­tiv­i­ty back af­ter mak­ing the first cof­fee with my old Aero­press again tought me some­thing valu­able:

Coffee Making Habbit

About two years ago, my trig­ger for mak­ing cof­fee was feel­ing un­pro­duc­tive. When I got stuck with a pro­gram­ming prob­lem, I would get up from my desk, walk up a floor to the kitchen, make some cof­fee and bring that back down again.

There is a curi­u­ous thing about pro­gram­ming: Some­times, tak­ing just a bit of dis­tance al­lows your sub­con­scious to fig­ure out the prob­lem or come up with a next step all on it’s own. You un­block your­self pas­sive­ly.

Trained Productivity Spark

This “com­ing up with a so­lu­tion” spark leads to a surge of mo­ti­va­tion or in­spi­ra­tion that al­lows sit­ting back down and re­gain pro­duc­tiv­i­ty.

This hap­pened of­ten enough over the past two years while mak­ing cof­fee, that mak­ing cof­fee is now a trig­ger for mov­ing in­to a pro­duc­tive men­tal state, even if there was no spark.

Acord­ing to “The Pow­er of Hab­bit” by Charles Duhigg, the hab­bit loop be­comes:

Feel­ing Stuck (Trig­ger/Cue) => Make Cof­fee (Rou­tine) => Cof­fee/Spark/Feel­ing of Be­ing Pro­duc­tive (Re­ward)

Sum­ma­riz­ing, I was lucky to ac­ci­den­tal­ly de­vel­op a hab­bit that takes me out of un­pro­duc­tive states, trig­gerd by the un­pro­duc­tive state.


There will be times where I don’t have ac­cess to cof­fee and it would be a shame if that meant that I can­not be pro­duc­tive.

To­day, I read a cou­ple of chap­ters of Tim Fer­riss’ “Tribe of Men­tors” and I no­ticed I got a sim­i­lar spark of in­spi­ra­tion out of it that got me in­to a men­tal­ly pro­duc­tive state.

I will make it a hab­bit to turn to read­ing when­ev­er I feel stuck and see if I can this time in­ten­tion­al­ly de­vel­op it to help me as mak­ing cof­fee does.