Coffee mode is a state of focus where you work towards a specific outcome.
Standard tropes like turn off the Internet, tune out distractions, and turn towards your goals are all examples of coffee mode thinking.
The productivity world is oriented around coffee mode because it’s easy to define, easy to measure, and easier to write about.
MORE IDEAS FROM Creatives have two ways of working 🍺 ☕️
Your best ideas emerge when you balance the inhale of beer mode with the exhale of coffee mode.
Coffee mode rewards focus, while beer mode rewards conversation. And while coffee mode rewards clarity, beer mode rewards serendipity.
Our best ideas rarely come alive in busyness. They spring to life in calm and aimless contemplation. In beer mode, you find inspiration. And in coffee mode, you harvest that inspiration.
"If you only spend time in coffee mode, you’ll shut yourself off to transformative ideas because the fruits of genius are sown with the seeds of beer mode wanderings."
Beer mode is a state of unfocused play where you discover new ideas.
It is filled with surprises that are impossible to predict.
On most days, you feel like you wasted time because you don’t make a breakthrough discovery. But once in a while, beer mode leads to an intellectual breakthrough that you would’ve never discovered in coffee mode.
There are many so-called mad geniuses in history. Suicide victims include Vincent Van Gogh or Ernest Hemingway. Creative geniuses who have succumbed to alcoholism or other addictions are legion. This leads many to suppose that creativity and psychopathology are related.
Good and effective things are helpful at one level but when taken too far, can be destructive.
In 1946, Sir Alexander Fleming, a renowned microbiologist, stated that antibiotics (like penicillin) were so effective that it will be abused by the masses, resulting in bacteria mutating and becoming drug-resistant. His prophecy came true, and this new, mutated bacteria is a reality.
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