Positive Life Rules

Positive Life Rule #2: Coffee only after 9am

BlackPepperChickenBurger-editI’m a coffee addict. I need a coffee to start my day. Without coffee, I will be tired. I may get coffee withdrawal systems, such as a headache. I used to have 4 to 5 cups of coffee back in the university and it is my first drink of the day.

And I’m so glad this is no longer the case.

With that being said, there isn’t a need to abstain from coffee. There are a multitude of benefits coffee can give to our body if we drink it in moderation.

Aside from the amount, when we drink it also matters. I would like to recommend that we drink our first coffee after 9am.

Rule #2: Coffee only after 9am (9.30am if you can help it)

The Science

There is a very simple to understand infographic posted on ilovecoffee.jp regarding the science and the time of drinking coffee.

In summary, our bodies produce natural “caffine” known as cortisol. Cortisol productions peaks when we are first awake, between 8 to 9am, near lunch time and near dinner time. What we want to avoid is to have our caffine fix while we are producing cortisol. This makes our bodies increase their reliance on caffine and reduce the production of cortisol.

With a weaken ability to produce cortisol, we struggle to stay awake throughout the day.

So How Does it Feel?

I feel totally alive! I wake up feeling more refresh and more productive everyday! This is despite that I only get about 7 hours or less sleep daily.

If there is really a need to rely on coffee to keep me awake for some occasional reasons, I can feel the effect of coffee a lot better.

For half the time, I don’t need any coffee until lunch.

By the way, although I do not need to rely that much on a caffine shot in the morning to perk me up, I do need some flavoured drinks to start my day in office. I turn to Japanese Genmai Cha (Brown Rice Tea) for my fix instead. I do it without sugar. They are my coffee substitute, it smells great and tastes delicious.

Doesn’t Tea contain Caffine too? Who are you kidding?

Some people used to tell me that tea have more caffine than coffee.

Fact: Tea do contain caffine.

But: The amount of caffine in a cup of Genmai Cha is several times lower than that of coffee. There are some data about this here and here.

Positive Life Rules

Positive Life Rule #1: Do not stay in office more than an hour after work working

A friend of mine recently contacted me about my project to simplify life, curious and wanted to see if he could used something like that too. He confided that he was in some low point of his life and could sure use a boost somehow.

BlackPepperChickenBurger-editWe met each other in town over a cup of coffee and we spoke at great lengths about how we had these perfect systems to run our lives, as INTJs always do.  However, such flawless systems are flawed as they were way too complicated to be used and sustained. Finally, we sort of agreed that simplicity is really the key to a system as it builds sustainability. Such as an adaptation of the BulletJounal system to manage my To-Do lists, a system that is easy to use, will be a system that works because I will be motivated to use it.

I’m also grateful that my friend made me verbalise my thoughts. What emerged from the coffee talk was that I’ve been building a series of rules for myself to “put myself on a positive spin” to lead a fulfilling and wholehearted life.

Come to think of it, I wonder if some of these rules I made had any sense in them and hence, the inspiration for this “Positive Life” series in my blog.

As I aim to share some of the rules I made for myself, it gives me the chance to reflect on why I created those rules in the first place too.


Rule #1: Do not stay in office more than an hour after work working

Note: This rule will only work for those holding on to a 9 to 5 job.

Why do I do that?

Number one reason: There is tomorrow!

Don’t get me wrong, procrastination is a sin~~~! How this should be interpreted is my believe in making everyday a productive one. Being productive gets more work done in less time. And rest, is an equally important part in making the (next) day a productive one.

But why not leave on time like what many websites tend to recommend? I’m a bit more pragmatic and I understand that will be times where I am required to complete some urgent work where overtime could be inevitable. I put a limit as an hour, just as the sun sets with four hours left on the clock to get back home, bathe, have dinner and play!

With that being said, I would also rather work on a Saturday than doing overtime if possible.

If I do have to work at home at night or over the weekends for some reasons, I will only bring back two types of work.

A. Work that I like to do: For me, these are usually things that allows me to exercise my creativity, for instance, putting a lesson plan together.

B. Work that are “mechanical and brainless”: For me, these would be things like marking lab test scripts.

I tend to refrain from doing the latter as it would mean that I’m doing chores. Meanwhile, the former would feel more like play to me and play = rest.

As I always share with my boss who gets worried when his employees stayed overtime, borrowing the words from Oliver Goldsmith:

Don’t worry, I will leave to fight another day.