Monday, January 26, 2009

Cure the Coffee Addiction

Most grad students waste tons of time and money on coffee. Everyday, I walk by a plethora of grad students, post docs, and other scholars sitting down and wasting time drinking coffee. We have to cure this addiction. The best way to avoid coffee is to never drink it in the first place. Despite what all of your peers and professors will tell you, coffee is not necessary to being productive, awake, and social. Just like any drug, consuming caffeine in copious amounts will make you want to consume even more.

Consider this. Most grad students seem to drink coffee at least once in the morning and then again in the early afternoon. Some of them make their own which is probably pretty inexpensive, but many go to the variety of coffe carts located around a typical college campus. This costs anywhere from $2-$6 for two coffee runs per day. Let's consider that the average is $4. That means $20 per week for coffee. Or 50 x $20 = $1000 per year for coffee. Consider what one can do with $1000 a year, and ask yourself if coffee is worth it.

Some arguments against quitting coffee may be the following:
1. "It is a social drink, and it is fun to sit down, have a cup of joe, and talk with my friends"
2. "I need the caffeine"

I offer counter arguments for both of these. For the first, why distract yourself from getting what you really want to get done? One of the goals of a spicy lifestyler is to be efficient with our time and money. Going to get coffee during your productive time will distract you and force you to waste more time. The goal is not to be a workaholic, but would you rather have 4 hours a day of productive work, or 10 hours a day of distractions with the same amount of work done. I'd rather spend my extra 12 hours of free time pursuing other things. I guess it is really up to the individual. I know you enjoy time with your friends, but I would rather spend that time pursuing some adventure or chilling somewhere with a lot better atmosphere.

No one needs the caffeine. Yes, caffeine can be useful, I use it sometimes too. Here's a solution though. Green tea ($2 to $3 for 100 bags at your local asian market. Chances are that if you are in grad school, there is a large Asian community near your school necessitating the market.) Buy yourself a little water boiler (your office mates will like this too) and some green tea in bulk at your local asian market. Drink one cup of tea in the morning and one in the afternoon if you must. I can live with green tea. Yes, there is some caffeine in it, but if the Japanese are using it, it can't be too bad! Coffee usually has much more caffeine than tea, so the initial transition may be tough. Don't quit cold turkey. Do it slowly, set short term goals. For example, try "can i not drink a cup of coffee for 6 hours" instead of "can i not drink a cup of coffee for 6 months". Eventually anyone can get over this addiction.

No comments: