If you're like most people, you work at your maximum efficiency for the first hour or two of your workday, then your efficiency slowly dwindles. By the time 2 P.M. rolls around, you're functioning at 40 percent of your capacity.
This means you're only half as effective from ten to noon as you are from nine to ten. Then if you take a lunch break at noon, presumably you are able to work at closer to your maximum efficiency until roughly three, when your efficiency drops again. The result is you're losing three to four hours of your peak efficiency every single day.
But there's a way to work at your maximum efficiency for close to eight hours each day. The body has access to the perfect system for totally rejuvenating itself in a very short period of time. It's called sleep. So all we need to do when we notice our energy is lagging is take a ten-minute nap.
The Wonderful Thing About Naps
The wonderful thing about naps is that they make it possible for us to work better without having to take drugs such as coffee or caffeinated teas or sodas.
If your work environment allows, get a blanket and one of those roll-up pads people use for aerobics and yoga classes and keep them in your office. When it's time to take a break, turn off the phone, put a "Do Not Disturb" sign on the door, and set your timer or watch for ten minutes. Then roll out your mat and zonk out. Lie on your back, feet together, hands on the floor close to your body so all your energy is contained. Your body will be using energy for rejuvenation rather than for keeping you warm, so it's helpful to cover yourself with the blanket. You want to minimize the possibility of getting chilled, which would make it impossible for you to relax completely. In those ten minutes you can bring yourself back up to your morning's energy level.
If you're not getting enough sleep, it'll be hard to recharge in ten minutes. If you're sleep deprived or have had a bad night's sleep, you might be better off sleeping for an hour. Your drive then returns, and your energy will be back up to your maximum level. Even if it takes an hour to recharge, you'll still be better off than if you keep pressing on when you're exhausted, working at less than half your normal level of efficiency.
Give Yourself a Thump
Unfortunately, though things are changing rapidly, not every office has a work culture that encourages naps. If napping is frowned upon in your work environment, get into the habit of using three thumps as a quick and powerful way to energize yourself whenever you're feeling drowsy, have difficulty concentrating, or find your energy is lagging.
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I learned this technique from Donna Eden, author of Energy Medicine (Tarcher/Putnam, 1998). Donna, in my opinion, is one of the great intuitive healers of our time. For over twenty years she has been teaching people how to tap into the body's energy system to generate healing and to enhance physical vitality and mental acuity. Based on the theory that the body is designed to heal itself, energy medicine employs, among other systems, your body's energy pathways, called meridians, that have been used in acupuncture for thousands of years. Meridians can be used in predictable ways to positively affect your energy field.
Start by thumping your K-27 meridians, which are located about one inch below and to the outside of your collarbone. Using the fingers of both hands, or the thumb and index finger of one hand, find the slight indentation in that area, and tap or massage these points firmly for about twenty seconds. Breathe deeply, in through your nose and out through your mouth, while you're tapping.
Next, move one hand to your thymus, located in the center of your chest, several inches below your K-27 points. Firmly tap your thymus for about twenty seconds while breathing deeply, in through your nose and out through your mouth.
Then thump your spleen meridian points. To do this, move your hands to six inches on either side of the thymus and down to find the slight indentation between your first and second rib. Firmly tap with several fingers for about twenty seconds on your spleen meridians, while breathing deeply, in through your nose and out through your mouth.
Taking One Minute for Yourself
As you can see, this exercise takes approximately one minute. You can do one or more of the thumps while sitting at your desk, in the middle of observing an important presentation when your body wants nothing more than to fall into a deep sleep, or at any other time when you need an immediate energy fix. If you don't have time to thump all three of these meridian centers, take just twenty seconds and thump your K-27 points for an emergency energy booster. (Don't worry about what others will think if they see you tapping your K27s during a meeting. One of two things might happen: You could start a trend so that everyone you work with would learn how to instantly boost their energy levels; or you could find that you're invited to fewer meetings, which would greatly simplify your work life.)
Not only does this series of taps instantly raise your energy level, it strengthens your immune system and also improves your coordination and balance. It'll make it possible for you to think much more clearly and will vastly increase your productivity. I've found it so effective that I incorporated it into my early morning routine every day. And I automatically use it during the day when I notice my energy is down or when I feel sleepy and don't want to take time for a nap. Try it right now so you can become familiar with the meridian points, and notice how it gives you an instant energy boost.
To learn more about energy medicine, I recommend you get Donna's six-hour video program, Energy Healing with Donna Eden. This tape series is exceptional. Not only will it show you many other techniques to reduce stress and increase your energy levels, but it will also teach you literally dozens of simple processes you can use in a multitude of health-enhancing ways. I believe energy medicine is the medicine of the future. I don't know of a better way you could spend eighty dollars to achieve immediate and long-term health benefits. The program also will help you build a repertoire of techniques you can use every day to enhance your energy and to improve your productivity.
Reprinted with permission.
Published by Hyperion Books.
Simplify Your Work Life: Ways to Change the Way You Work so You Have More Time to Live
by Elaine St. James.
Elaine St. James' Simplify series has taught the world how to start doing less and enjoying it more. Now Elaine teaches us to balance one of life's most difficult areas: the work world. Filled with tremendously helpful advice, and easy yet profoundly smart suggestions, her new book shows us big and small ways to scale down and simplify life on the job.
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About The Author
Elaine St. James had her own real estate investing business for over 15 years. She now lives a quiet, simple life in Santa Barbara, California.
She is the author of many bestselling books:
and many more.