Article first published as How to Manage Your Energy Account on Technorati.
Do you know what your fatigue threshold is?
Think of it as the line you need to avoid crossing, if you want to
be as effective as possible in daily life.
It’s basically the point at which the accumulated tasks, stresses,
and energy drains of the day or week accumulate to the point where
you become tired and irritable, and lack the focus or energy to
complete the things you need to get done, or — more importantly –
the things you would like to do.
Managing fatigue and raising your fatigue threshold are essential
to maintaining maximum performance. You can’t work at peak efficiency
when you are exhausted all the time.
Dr. Hans Selye, a pioneer in the research and study of stress,
explained the way stress can affect us like this:
You have an energy savings account and an energy checking account.
If you consistently overdraw your daily energy reserves – your
energy checking account – eventually it will empty. Then you will
begin to draw on your energy savings account, which are your body’s
emergency energy reserves.
Usually, drawing on these reserves involves artificially revving
yourself up through the use of stimulants like excessive caffeine,
as well as through self-imposed stressful behavior…Things like
overwork, unmanaged stress, and not paying attention to health
A key to maintaining a healthy energy checking account, and being
as effective and efficient as you possibly can, is to manage your
You have a natural rhythm and cycle to your energy levels. Try to
organize and schedule your day around those cycles.
Think about a boxing match. Fights are scheduled for a certain
number of rounds, typically 12 in the pros.
The fighters know from their training and experience that they
shouldn’t come out firing on all cylinders in the early rounds.
(Unless they so disrespect their opponent that their game plan is
to knock him or her out in the first couple of rounds. This is
rarely a good strategy.)
Rather, good fighters pace themselves, manage their energy and
breathing, and work to manage the ring and their opponent. This
allows the savvy and conditioned fighter to go the distance and
perform at a high level throughout the fight.
So, no matter what happens in the morning or early afternoon,
don’t let that event or circumstance (or person) suck you dry of
your energy or focus.
Instead, think of pacing yourself, so you can cruise into the
evening still humming along. A great practice to follow, whenever
possible, is to schedule lull periods in between more demanding
or stressful periods.
For example, try to schedule some quiet time in your office alone,
with no interruptions, when you are in between meetings or phone
calls. Or turn on some classical music when you’re commuting home,
so your commute becomes a lull period between office and home.
As you engage in this quiet time, even if it’s only for a few
minutes, make sure you take advantage of the chance to do some
deep breathing. Some of the breathing exercises from the Secret
Power of Dynamic Energy Exercise Course, Volume 1; Invigorate &
Rejuvenate are ideal for this.
This “interval” way of scheduling your day is actually patterned
after the most effective and efficient way to exercise. And it’s
been found that cycling through periods of activity alternated
with periods of rest or recreation can actually improve your
productivity, energy levels…even your mood!
It’s just a natural cyclical approach that our bodies and brains
You Can Do It!
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P.S. Another great way to relax and rejuvenate instantly is through
stretching. Just a few stretches can really make a difference in
your energy levels. My method for improving flexibility gives you
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a few minutes a day. Yet it’s so easy and enjoyable, you’ll
actually look forward to your flexibility and relaxation routine!
“Dynamic Flexibility: The Secret To Healthy, Pain-Free Joints,
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health of your joints. For more information, or to claim your own
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Copyright, Karen Van Ness, 2011