As I've explained previously, a huge meta-analysis of 127 scientific studies strongly suggests that coffee is the ultimate superfood. Coffee repairs your DNA, calms your body, and helps prevent cancer, Type 2 diabetes, and Parkinson's disease. As a result, coffee-drinkers live longer, healthier lives than those who abstain, especially when you drink it at the right time of the day.

That's all good news, of course, but now there's even better news. A pair of scientific studies conducted at the University of California and the University of Ohio have identified an additional benefit to drinking coffee. According to the Journal of Psychopharmacology:

"consuming a moderate amount of caffeinated coffee prior to indulging in a group activity enhances an individual's task-relevant participation in the group activity."

This finding is clearly important to anybody who works in a business environment where teamwork--and the ability to keep meetings on target--is crucial to success. And that's pretty much everywhere, I think.

The finding also squares perfectly with the personal experience of, well, pretty much everybody. There's a reason that, whenever there's a meeting, almost everyone shows up with a fresh cup of coffee. They know from experience that coffee keeps you focused and on target.

I remember one day, a long while back, when the coffee machine in our break room broke down right before a big meeting. We only had one coffee machine and we didn't have a soft drink machine, and the closest coffee shop was a mile away.

The next half hour--which is how long it took for somebody to drive back and forth to Dunkin' Donuts--was among the most uncomfortable I've spent. Everyone was grumpy and listless, until the coffee arrived and then--zoom!--we were off and running.

In fact, now that I think of it, maybe the reason that people are more productive in a coffee shop than in an open plan office is that it's easier to get a cup of coffee. 

I'm sure there are people who don't need coffee to stay focused. However, for those of us who introverted, easily bored and quickly distracted, a strong cup of java at the beginning of a meeting is an indispensable part of our productivity tool kit.

Published on: May 30, 2018