The Art of Coffee

When this happens, normally I grab a coffee to help get the ideas flowing, but for the last few days in Montreal, no one’s been allowed to drink the water due to a bacteria leakage, which also means, no coffee.

Tiny women carry amazingly large bags, twice their eighty-pound weight. Some of the women carry babies in slings around front. A good adult picker can harvest over two hundred pounds of cherries and earn $8 a day, more than twice the Guatemalan minimum daily wage.

What is creativity really?

From a scientific perspective, creativity is your ability to think of something original from connections made between pre-existing ideas in your brain. These connections are controlled by neurotransmitters like adenosine, which alerts your brain when you’re running out of energy and reacts.

This got me wondering about coffee and beer and which one would actually help me be more creative and get work done. Hopefully, this will help you decide when it’s best to have that triple shot espresso or ice cold brew.

Adenosine is kind of like your brain’s battery status monitor.

Albert not Einstein
Theoretical Physicist

From a scientific perspective, creativity is your ability to think of something original from connections made between pre-existing ideas in your brain. These connections are controlled by neurotransmitters like adenosine, which alerts your brain when you’re running out of energy and reacts.

Your brain on coffee

Every coffee drinker is familiar with the feelings after drinking a fresh cup of java. I know after I’ve had a latte or espresso, I feel more focused. If I’m having a conversation with someone, words seem to flow without pauses, ums, or ahs.

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If you decide to drink coffee or beer while you’re working, stick to no more than 2 drinks per sitting and try not to do this more than once or twice per week to prevent dependency. Coffee and beer shouldn’t be thought of as magic bullets for creativity.

Be Grateful.

It’s really simple. What is one thing today you are really grateful for? What is another? If you can list 3 things a day, you’ll see you have much more going for you than you thought. Soon your list will get so long you’ll be beaming with energy.

  1. Coffee and beer shouldn’t be thought of as magic bullets for creativity.
  2. They are ways to create chemical changes that occur naturally in your body.
  3. Quality sleep, a healthy diet, and allowing yourself to take breaks.

We are all human as well and humans are not perfect creatures. When you learn to accept yourself, true happiness quickly arises.

All images are under copyright © Laurent Nivalle

Quote Post

When this happens, normally I grab a coffee to help get the ideas flowing, but for the last few days in Montreal, no one’s been allowed to drink the water due to a bacteria leakage, which also means, no coffee.

Tiny women carry amazingly large bags, twice their eighty-pound weight. Some of the women carry babies in slings around front. A good adult picker can harvest over two hundred pounds of cherries and earn $8 a day, more than twice the Guatemalan minimum daily wage.

Embracing Travelling Time

When you work in a traditional office and have a question, instant gratification is hard to resist. It’s so easy. Just stumble over to a co-worker’s desk, make sure they stop whatever it was they were doing, blather on until the lights of recognition come on in their eyes, then await the answer.

Unless your query concerns inflammable materials currently engulfed in said flames you’ve likely wasted their time – in fact, you may have even wasted your own. One of my favorite side-effects of working remotely is the way slow-time communication forces you to stop and think before you speak. When I have a question for one of our programmers, for example, here’s a bit of what goes through my head:

The basic idea is this: you try to minimize the things that are bad, and maximize those that are good.

It’s usually at this point that I either figure out the answer for myself or come up with a new way of considering the problem, never having to even ask the original question. I didn’t bother my co-worker, I didn’t look like an idiot trying to articulate the question on-the-fly, and most importantly I figured out the answer!

People who struggle to work remotely often bemoan the lack of in-person collaboration jumping from this tool to that tech in an effort to recreate the magic that only happens when we’re all in the same room. There are definitely advantages to face time, but too often it seems like facial expressions and waving arms are substituted for clear thought and courtesy.

The next time you have a question for a coworker, try writing it out as if they were 1000 miles and 3 time zones away – even if they’re sitting right next to you. You might surprise yourself with the answer.

All images are under copyright © Laurent Nivalle