UP YOUR DOWN CYCLES (i-mail ... Doug C. Grant"I told ... told ... told you. Now look at ... was ... again with one of his nagging i-mails. As usual, I was in no mood
UP YOUR DOWN CYCLES (i-mail article)
by Doug C. Grant
"I told you...and told you...and told you. Now look at yourself."
It was Other-Self again with one of his nagging i-mails. As usual, I was in no mood for another holier than thou lecture. But unlike e-mail, i-mail arrives internally and cannot be ignored or deleted.
At the time I was busy surfing the ceiling of my office. The designs imbedded in the plaster can suggest all sorts of faces and objects to an unengaged mind. I admit this isn't a productive activity but it requires little or no energy. Without removing my eyes from the ceiling I muttered a tired response, "And just what is it that you've told me and told me and told me?"
"You need to develop an energy reserve mentality."
"Energy reserve mentality! Where did you come up with that?"
"It wasn't difficult. I see what happens almost every day. You blitz the morning and by mid-afternoon you're too tired to do anything but ceiling surf."
"So what's your problem? Morning is my best time. What would you have me do? Goof away the morning and lose the best part of my day?"
"A bit of goofing now and then won't hurt anything."
"I don't believe I'm hearing this. You of all people. Master of the push...push...push and do...do...do."
"I admit that I prefer activity to lounging. But I also see no need to kill an afternoon by overindulging the morning."
Despite myself I was becoming interested. This advice seemed so uncharacteristic of Other-Self. "I confess that often my afternoons tend to slow a bit but ‛kill' is rather a strong word."
"In other words, you feel that ceiling surfing is a great form of productivity?"
"It's just my way of resting. Replenishing my energy for new activities."
"Nonsense. Your day stops at the ceiling. Oh you may revive a little. But then you just move on to more piddle. And why? Because you used up all your energy during the morning sprint which leaves you nothing to keep the afternoon and evening going. So you end up saying something like, ‛I was going to sort through those tax records tonight but I'm just not in the mood.' And then you reach for the television remote. Confess it. Do I not speak the truth?"
"Hey listen. Everybody deserves a little time to unwind."
"Unwind! Is that what you call it? More like unraveling to my way of thinking."
"Can we get to the point here. What are you suggesting?"
"As I said in the beginning, you must develop an Energy Reserve Mentality. Start with breakfast. Instead of your usual snack, bolt and belch routine, take a few extra minutes to relax with good energy food. A twenty minute nutritious breakfast is worth at least an extra hour of reserve energy in the afternoon."
"That's ridiculous. Nothing I eat at seven in the morning is going to carry me through the afternoon."
"Is that so, Mr. Nutrition Expert. Remember, you're talking to someone who is intimately familiar with your operating system. Besides, I'm not done yet.
"During the morning, you take a couple of relaxation breaks. Maybe for ten or 15 minutes. Read something inspiring but not deep. Or, do a few simple exercises. Almost any meaningful activity that disrupts the normal energy drain is useful. Each of these short breaks will reserve an additional half-hour or more of energy for later in the day.
"At lunch, eat light but well. Make it an occasion. Spend it with someone. Go for a walk. A half-hour lunch, well taken, can add an extra hour to your afternoon energy reserve."
"And you honestly expect this energy reserve to carry me through my daily down cycle?"
"Absolutely. Not at full power, of course. You'll have to scale down your activities and expectations. But the momentum of the day will continue. Use this slow period to visit with someone special, read, perform simple chores or even exercise."
"Exercise! We're talking tired here."
"That's an interesting thing about exercise. It requires a small amount of energy to get started. But once you're into it the exercise generates its own energy. But that's not really the important thing. It's keeping the momentum of the day going that is wonderfully valuable."
"I think I understand. Sort of like that old physics axiom, ‛A body in motion tends to stay in motion.' "
"That's very good. You do surprise me at times. And when you keep your afternoon active you are much more inclined to do something constructive with your rejuvenated evening."
"Okay...makes sense. Tomorrow I start my new energy reserve program. And what will you be holding in reserve."
"My utter contempt for your habit of ceiling surfing."
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Doug C. Grant retired from a successful career as a nationally recognized business writer & marketing consultant. He now helps members of the ‛Over-50', crowd live healthier, happier and more productive lives through his Empowered Maturity Web Site (http://www.dougcgrant.com) and an on-line interactive seminar.