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Study drugs are finding their way into the workplace

If you could take a pill that, with minimal side effects, could help you concentrate, make better decisions, work more efficiently, and be more creative, would you take it? Study drugs are now part of the workplace. Time to discuss.

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Red pill or blue pill?

If you could take a pill that, with minimal side effects, could help you concentrate, make better decisions, work more efficiently, and be more creative, would you take it?

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An advantage over your colleagues

It seems that many people would, as more and more students and workers are using prescription drugs, not to treat the condition they are prescribed for, but to enhance their performance in work or school.

“Smart drugs” or “study drugs” are prescribed for cognitive and neurological conditions such as ADHD and narcolepsy, but some people without those conditions find them effective for increasing concentration and efficiency while studying or working.

The estimate that 20 percent of Ivy League students have tried “smart drugs” is probably conservative. The Financial Times reports that smart drugs are “becoming popular among city lawyers, bankers, and other professionals keen to gain a competitive advantage over colleagues.”

Enhancing creativity and focus

The most common smart drugs in past decades have been Adderall and Ritalin, both prescribed for ADHD. Recently, a narcolepsy drug called Modafinil has become popular. A study by Harvard Medical School and Oxford found that Modafinil, when administered to test subjects who do not have narcolepsy, enhances creativity and attention, and makes it easier to learn, plan, and make decisions. According to their research, Modafinil also has “vanishingly few side effects,” making it a relatively safe way to enhance cognitive performance.

In fact, the U.S. military is even experimenting with Modafinil to help soldiers stay away when they’ve been pushed to exhaustion.

Despite Modafinil’s relative safety, it’s still illegal to possess it in the United States without a prescription. Other smart drugs, such as Adderall and Ritalin, can cause problems, such as disrupting your sleep cycle. It can also be very dangerous to drink alcohol with some of these drugs, so if you are using them, think about skipping Happy Hour after work.

Is it ethical?

Besides the question of safety, the popularity of smart drugs also raises ethical concerns. We don’t like our athletes artificially enhancing their bodies with steroids and other drugs – is enhancing work place or student performance any different?

Many universities have addressed the issue in their academic integrity policies, and consider these drugs to be a form of cheating.

It’s hard to say what effect these drugs could have on the workplace. They could be a great way for under-performing employees to catch up. They might also reduce workplace stress by helping employees finish tasks more efficiently so that they can truly relax at the end of the day. On the other hand, employees on smart drugs could gain an unfair competitive edge, setting the bar artificially high, for workers without drugs, who must then scramble to catch up, or start popping pills themselves.

Are you, or your employees using smart drugs to enhance workplace performance?

#SmartDrugs

Ellen Vessels, a Staff Writer at The American Genius, is respected for their wide range of work, with a focus on generational marketing and business trends. Ellen is also a performance artist when not writing, and has a passion for sustainability, social justice, and the arts.

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Ryan Michael Ballow

    June 16, 2016 at 3:45 pm

    Indeed the industry is exploding. It’s fairly simple: if a person recognizes that they can alter their cognition, positively, with minimal side effects (in the case of Modafinil), they’re going to strongly consider it. Especially if it helps give them the edge in work place/academic scenarios.

    The market for nootropics is expanding massively, and this is JUST the beginning. The idea of ethics is sort of an odd question. Is it ethical to consume caffeine? Well – caffeine binds to a neurotransmitter receptor, tricking that receptor into believing it is in fact a neurotransmitter (called Adenosine), which, as a result, promotes wakefulness. Nootropics/smart drugs are literally no different; they have different mechanisms of action, but the same basic concept underlies their efficacy. They modulate neurotransmitters/receptor sites.

    Source: Nootropics user for 6 years, created a commercial nootropic called Cortex.

  2. Pingback: Regulatory Roundup, June 17, 2016 | Texas Mutual Insurance Company News Update

  3. gautam

    July 12, 2016 at 11:49 pm

    Smart drugs are good as long as one does not get addicted to them,

  4. Piracetam

    December 20, 2017 at 4:51 am

    Study drugs or smart drugs are playing important role in life. They are natural and risk free to use. Yes, I am also agree with Gautam that one should not get addicted to them.

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ClickUp team productivity app is gorgeous and wildly efficient

(BUSINESS NEWS) Seeking to improve your productivity and speed up your team, ClickUp is an inexpensive option for those obsessed with efficiency.

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Back again to obsess over productivity apps – ClickUp, is a project management tool seeking to knock the frustration out of PM. It’s getting some good reviews, so I gave it a try for a week by setting up my current job search as a project and getting a feel for the app. And as you’ve read in my other reviews, we will address features and design.

On the feature front, ClickUp offers a pretty standard set up of tools for a productivity app. What stands out first and foremost are the status options. In general, most productivity statuses are simple: not started, started, in progress, done, etc.

But ClickUp lets you set up custom statuses that match your workflow.

For example, if you’re doing instructional design projects, you may assign projects based on where they are flowing in an ADDIE model, or if you are a Realtor, you may have things cataloged by sold, in negotiation, etc.

Customization is king and custom status is the closest you get to building your own app. And if you like it simple, you don’t have to customize it. The assigned comments feature lets you follow up on specific comments that originate action items – which is useful in team collaborations.

You can also assign changes to multiple tasks at once, including changing statuses (I would bulk assign completion tasks when I finished applications that I did in batches). There a lot of features here, but the best feature is how the app allows you to toggle on and off features that you will or won’t use – once again, customization is front and center for this platform.

In terms of design and intuive use, ClickUp nailed it.

It’s super easy to use, and the concept of space is pretty standard in design thinking. If your organization uses Agile methodology, this app is ready for you.

In terms of view, you can declutter the features, but the three viewing modes (list, box, and board) can help you filter the information and make decisions quickly depending on what role you have on a board or project. There is also a “Me” board that removes all the clutter and focuses on your tasks – a great way to do focused productivity bursts. ClickUp describes itself as beautifully intuitive, and I can’t disagree – both the web app and mobile app are insanely easy to use.

No complaints here.

And the horizon looks good for ClickUp – with new features like image markup, Gannt charts (!!!!!! #nerdalert), and threaded comments for starts.

This application is great, and it’s got a lot of growth coming up to an already rich feature base. It’s free with 100MB of storage, but the $5 fee for team member per month that includes team onboarding and set up (say you’re switching from another platform) and Dropbox/Google Docs integration? That’s a bargain, Charlie.

ClickUp is on the way up and it’s got it all – features, a beautifully accessible UI, relentless customization, and lot of new and upcoming features. If you’re into the productivity platform and you’re looking for a new solution for your team, go check it out.

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Should you alter your business travel due to the Coronavirus?

(BUSINESS NEWS) Got a business trip coming up? Worried about the coronavirus spoiling those plans? Stay up to date and safe with this cool site!

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The Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at John Hopkins University has created a website that tracks one of the biggest trends of 2020: the coronavirus. Also known as 2019-nCoV, this disease has already spread to over 40,000 confirmed cases worldwide, with over 900 deaths (as of when this article was published, anyway.)

Not to mention, the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that we still don’t know exactly how the virus spreads from person-to-person. In fact, there’s quite a bit we don’t know about this disease and although some people are reported as recovered, it’s only a small fraction compared to how many are sick.

So, what’s so great about this tracker? Well, first of all, it updates in real time, making it easy to keep track of everything we know about confirmed cases of the coronavirus. It’s chock full of statistics and visuals, making the information easy to digest. Plus, with a map front and center, it lets you know exactly where there have been reported outbreaks – and how many people have been diagnosed.

Because the site sticks to cold hard facts like statistics and maps, it also means you can avoid the racism and general panic that’s accompanied news of this outbreak.

This is a great tool for staying informed, but it’s also extremely helpful if you’re going to be traveling for work. As the virus continues to progress, you’ll be able to see just how many cases of coronavirus there are in the areas you’re planning to visit, which will allow you to plan accordingly. Even if you don’t feel the effects, you can still risk passing it to other people.

(In fact, the CDC recommends those traveling from certain areas in China practice “social distancing” when they return to the US, avoiding public spaces like grocery stores, malls and movie theaters.)

Of course, if you have something planned several months from now, don’t cancel your conference plans just yet. A lot can happen in that amount of time, so avoid the urge to check the website every couple hours. It’s supposed to be a tool for staying informed, not staying stressed out.

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New startup curates resources to simplify any remote job search

(BUSINESS NEWS) Finding a remote job that supports travel has never been so easy with this new remote friendly job-finding website, Remote Planet.

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Have you ever wanted to travel the world only to have your boss completely reject your request to work remotely? Or maybe you’re not working right now and you’re having a hard time finding a job that will allow you travel? Well, let me tell you, you’re not alone!

As 2020 begins, it’s pretty clear that remote working is not only an option; it can be a way of life that can not only empower an employee, but also increase efficiency and production for their company.

15 years ago, finding a remote job was almost like spotting a unicorn. It was an extremely rare opportunity – one that very few had the pleasure of experiencing. But with technology growing so quickly, and with the benefits being so clear (for both employer and employee) companies are quickly making changes that allow their employees to live and work almost anywhere they’d like – as long as there’s a good Internet connection.

Because of this, working while traveling has never been so easy, and with a massive uptick in dedicated remote workforces (we’re up to 18% of the U.S. workforce being remote), it only makes sense why websites like RemotePlanet.io are becoming so popular.

Remote Planet is an online platform that allows you to search for a job that is 100% remote. Their goal is not only to help find you a job that meets you needs, but also to provide “Curated Data for Remote, Digital Nomads & Travellers”.

J.P. Aulet is the freelance web developer who created Remote Planet. In an interview with him, where I asked him about the website, he said “RemotePlanet.io helps digital nomads (DN), remote workers, travelers and others to find the best resources in different categories, like remote companies, articles, insurances, housing and co-workings, among other things.”

When asked why he created his website, he said “Since I quit my job 2 years ago, I’ve been traveling and working as a [digital nomad], and since then, I curated a lot of interesting and helpful websites that help me with my travels, and I wanted to share with others to make it easier to start their remote journey.”

The website takes a Pinterest-like approach to helping its users find jobs, too, making it a very visual experience. What I mean by this is, the platform appears to aggregate data from 3rd party sites, like Remote.co and Remote.com and filters through their data for remote jobs. Whether it’s automatic or manual is unknown, but the important thing is that Aulet then publishes this data to his site in a sort of board that allows you to click the link, share it on Facebook or Twitter, or “like” it.

In addition, it looks to pulls in data that remote workers should stay on top of, like various tools, and companies that fully endorse the “work from anywhere” lifestyle.

remote job tools

But the coolest thing about this site is that it takes a lot of the searching work away for people who already otherwise have busy lives. After all, given the nature of the lifestyle and the level of importance travel is to those who seek this type of work, looking for a remote job and traveling at the same time can keep one pretty occupied.

So, whether you’ve been looking for a remote job for a while, or you’re just getting started, we highly suggest checking out Remote Planet for, at the very least, their tools and resources.

Now, with all of that said, their website won’t be any help to those who still have difficult bosses or work for companies who are adamantly against work from home situations, so if this scenario sounds familiar, we suggest checking out this guide on how to convince your boss to let you work remotely. We wish you the best of luck in convincing your boss to loosen the reigns.

On the chance the meeting doesn’t go so well (hey, let’s face it, it happens), and you’re considering another job that has much more flex, we also recommend reading this recent story on “How to crush your next remote job interview.”

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