This is the age of the entrepreneur. It’s also the age of the side hustler, the three-job worker, the virtual CEO, the overworked parent, the list goes on. But the point remains the same – we’re all pretty tired.

Fear not, undercaffeinated friends, coffee is here to save the day. But no matter how tired you are, there are a few rules that must not be broken:

  • Conversations start after the cup is empty

This one is particularly true when caffeine intake is occurring in the office. By now, your coworkers should know that you prefer to enjoy your hot cup of energy in peace. But if they don’t, take it to the break room instead of sitting at your desk. Or you can give them a gentle reminder with a fun mug that says something like “Coffee, then talky.”

  • Know your cutoff time (4 p.m. ex.)

Ingesting caffeine after a certain time of day can wreak havoc on your sleep cycle. If you’re lucky enough to already know what your cutoff time should be, move on to number 3. If not, 4:00 p.m. should be a good place to start. If you have any trouble sleeping, move it up half an hour at a time until you find your sweet spot.

  • Don’t drown it with sugar

Coffee chains are good at creating sugar-based drinks with a splash of caffeine in them. This is a waste of coffee beans and calories. If you’re not sure you can drink coffee without sugar, try scaling back just a little bit at a time until you get there.

  • Flavor without artificial creamers

Natural sweeteners or skipping the creamer altogether lets the coffee flavor shine. As an added bonus, it’ll save you money, time, and empty calories. You can use those saved calories on a biscotti to dunk into your coffee instead. You’re welcome.

If your coffee has been sitting on your desk waiting for you through your three morning meetings, toss it and start over. Drinking room temperature coffee is a sin. One that’s nearly as bad as reheating it in the microwave.

  • Say no to decaf

If you’re drinking coffee, the majority of the benefit comes from the increased focus and energy. Decaf coffee smells the same, looks the same, and mostly even tastes the same, but you don’t get the same benefits out of it. So, why bother?

  • Pick a preferred location

Don’t bounce back and forth between coffee vendors, just choose one and stick with them. You’ll get to make friendly conversation with the employees or owners, they’ll get to know what you like, and some places will even reward customer loyalty.

  • Limit your intake

We all need an extra boost from time to time, but try to keep it to two cups per day anyway. Any more than that is likely to lead to a caffeine crash later, which totally defeats the purpose. It might also make you feel shaky or jittery, which is torture when you’re stuck at a desk.

  • Be open to opportunities

There’s nothing wrong with liking what you like, but true coffee lovers know that it’s good to try new things sometimes, too. Experiment with different roasts, blends, and brands. You never know when you’ll find a new favorite.