Photo by Quinn Buffing on Unsplash

A Curious One Month Experiment of Microdosing Psychedelics For Productivity.

“These models will recognize the inter-connectedness of all things, turning away from the mindless materialism and consumerism that has destroyed the ecological capital on which we rely.”― Paul Austin, Microdosing Psychedelics: A Practical Guide to Upgrade Your Life

Apparently, there is a big trend amount of startups in Silicon Valley on the topic of microdosing psychedelics for productivity. I don’t know how people find out about the benefits of psychedelics on productivity but my experience started with one article from “Better Humans”. It wasn’t like I didn’t know about this at all. Medium writers do a good job of keeping you up to date with the latest trends.

Before we move on…

If you don’t have time to read through the article and want to jump to the conclusions straight away, here are my personal key takeaways from this experiment.

  • It didn’t change my life
  • I was in a better mood and felt more creative at brainstorming
  • Productivity enhancement is strongly influenced by the environment
  • Improved brain activity, but feels too much at some point

So I open this article titled: “How One Year of Microdosing Helped My Career, Relationships, and Happiness” by Janet L. Chang.

The only reason behind my temptation to read the article was to understand how a normal person can take drugs (LSD/Mushrooms) for a continuous period of 1 year and function properly after that. I was surprised to find out how insightful was the article and how many health and psychological benefits this drug can have. Here are 3 outstanding benefits.

  1. Pshychadelics enhances neuroplasticity and improves brain connectivity. My attention was immediately caught by the picture of how many connections our brain is able to make in a placebo state versus connections under the influence of psilocybin (psychedelic).
Image Credit: Journal of the Royal Society Interface

“Above: Simplified, color-coded image of homological scaffolds, or graphical representations of neural connections in the brain, on placebo (left) and psilocybin (right).”

This reminded me of the movie “Limitless” where Bradly Cooper discovers a drug called “NZT” that changed his life.

2. Reduces human addictions. I never smoked but recently I was smoking a cigarette a day after work to relax my mind. And it worked until I found myself half a year later smoking cigarettes every day with a quitting problem.

3. It can make you more creative. Because your brain makes 20X more connections you become more open to new ideas, process information faster (which helps with patter identification) and decisions feel more certain.

The outcome of Microdosing LSD for 1 month

I was taking 0.15–0.25g of LSD twice a week. My goal was to see how it can impact my productivity and workflow at work. The schedule was always the same. Every morning on Tuesday and Friday before I go to work.

Mood

It is proven that LSD increases your level of serotonin, and they are right. I was in a very good mood on the days I was microdosing. I could laugh at any joke my colleagues would say. Any music/song was very pleasant and enjoyable. Boring and repetitive work seemed interesting sometimes.

Brainstorming

My ideas appeared more logical. I was more confident in what I say and how I say. It wasn’t like I suddenly have 1000 ideas in my head. It just felt 10–15% more organized and clear of what I want to say. Also, I had fewer doubts about sharing new ideas.

Productivity

Many people are experimenting with psychedelics to be more productive. My experience, however, is that it can make you more productive only if you know how to focus. If there are many distractions around you, such as — interrupting colleagues or notification popping up every minute, it can lead to even less productivity. I had good days where I isolated myself into a maximum productive mindset with no distractions. Then, I could experience an outstanding productive mindset. But there were days when I couldn’t focus for more than 10 minutes on one task due to the temptation of multitasking. I struggle with multitasking anyway. On LSD is even worse.

Brain activity

This was probably both a good and a bad thing at the same time. I like when my brain feels very active and full of energy. Yet, I experienced my brain activity going at the level of insanity. To the point where I couldn’t keep up with my thoughts and ideas anymore. I was feeling I was going at a speed of 200km/h. At one point felt I need to step outside and calm down my mind because my brain is about to explode.

Will I keep doing it?

Overall, I had a good experience and I now feel better I had the courage to undertake this experiment. Many people asked me “Yes, but what if you become a drug addict?” and I replied, “Yes, but if it works and it changes my life?”

I would not keep doing it every week as I don’t feel like I am a completely different person when I microdose. However, I would use it again during times I need to be a bit more productive and creative than normal. Like starting a new project, working on a new concept or delivering work under a shorter amount of time.

Questions? Feel free to contact me here.

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