How to Get the Edge in Your Career with Nootropics
It came as a bit of a shock to me to discover that being good at my job might not be enough to ensure a secure future. The problem is that being good is the bare minimum requirement in most careers. The motivational coach Michael Heppell sums the situation up nicely in his book How to Be Brilliant with the words:
Sometimes being just good just isn’t good enough.
There are probably millions of people out there who would be good at my job, and a frighteningly large number of them would be willing to do the work for less money than I expect. This means that I need to ‘up my game’ if I hope to do well in life. I need an edge that is going to allow me to stand out from the crowd.
Productivity Hacking with Smart Drugs
I only have so many hours in the day, and there are times when I’m just not loving the work. I can get tired, distracted, moody, or antsy – just like everyone else – and when this happens, it is hard to even manage an average performance.
So what’s to be done? How can you get ahead in your career despite the limitations of the human brain? Is there some mechanism for forcing this organ into always given a 5-star performance? This might be asking a bit much, but there are things that can be done to at least give us an edge. One of the options that may be worth considering would be nootropics.
The Exciting World of Nootropics
The movie Limitless is about a guy who uses nootropics and transforms from being a bit of a loser into a brilliant investor and financial adviser. This smart drug optimizes his brain to such an extent that he appears to have almost superhuman powers. The plot is a bit far-fetched, but it has helped to trigger a growing interest in the possibilities of nootropics.
I think many of us are going to feel at least a bit cynical initially about the idea of using drugs to give us an edge in our career. It sounds a bit unnatural. It is easy to forget that most of us already use drugs to improve our performance at work – caffeine is classified as a type of nootropic. If you have ever drank coffee so you could work late into the night, you’ve already dabbled with smart drugs.
Nootropics like caffeine, chocolate, omega-3, and the herbs rosemary and sage are all examples of substances that can improve brain functioning. These things have been around for years, so it is hard to get too excited about them. What is really grabbing people’s attention is the newer smart drugs that can have a more profound impact on brain functioning.
How Nootropics Can Help Your Career
The character Eddie Morra, in the movie Limitless, only needed to take one drug called NZT-48 to be able to get the most from his brain. In reality, there are many types of smart drugs and each of these produces a different effect. These substances might help you in your career by improving your focus, boosting your mental energy, improving your ability to absorb information, and increasing your creativity.
Being able to focus means that you have the ability to concentrate fully on what you are doing – the opposite of this is distraction. If you focus on your work, you are going to do a much better job, and it is also going to take you far less time. Practices like meditation, and a hobby like puzzle-solving, can help to boost your concentration levels. There are also nootropics like IDRA-21 and Phenylpiracetam that can have a significant impact on focus levels.
Mental energy is a precious commodity and most of us could benefit from having a lot more of it – especial those of us who get paid based on our output. Even if you have great ideas and plenty of ambition, it is going to be impossible to succeed without energy to take action. One of my favorite nootropics for getting motivation to act is Modafinil, a smart drug that is commonly used to treat people with sleep disorders like narcolepsy – it works by increasing levels of wakefulness.
I get periods where I feel really creative, but it’s not something that I can control. This is a problem because there are times when my job depends on my being creative – I don’t like to think about all the hours of my life I’ve wasted to staring at a blank screen. Aniracetam is one of the current batch of smart drugs that users claim boosts their creativity levels – it also improves overall mental functioning by improving the brain’s ability to use oxygen and glucose.
Our ability to absorb information can depend on lots of different factors. If I’m feeling distracted or tired, I’m not going to be in the mood for learning anything new.
So the nootropics for improving mental energy levels and focus (see above) might be a good solution. Another option could be something like Piracetam that is already being used by students because it helps them to study harder.