Massage Research

Eugene Schwartz’s 33 Minute Rule for Productivity

Eugene Schwartz uses the analogy that the mind is like a horse. If you work it too hard, it will “drop dead”. You’ll stop being productive and go stale. Not permanently, but on a given day, if you exhaust yourself mentally, you won’t continue doing your best, most creative work.

To combat this problem, Schwartz devised a method that’s come to be known as the 33 minute rule. Whatever he was working on, he would set a timer for 33 minutes and 33 seconds, and when that timer went off he would stop whatever he was doing – however important – and take a break for a few minutes to clear his head.

Stretch your legs, get some fresh air or have a drink of water. During those 33 active minutes, you focus and use them effectively. When you’re conscious that you’re working inside a finite block of time, you make every minute count.

Thanks to Damien Elsing for this tip – find his post at

Stress Management

What is Stress?

Stress is a biological response in our bodies to events happening in our lives.   There are many stress triggers including pressure at school or work, traffic jams, illness, grief, or simply feeling overwhelmed.

A little stress helps us feel motivated and gets us through the day.  It gives us the adrenaline rush we need to deal with situations.   After a stressful situation, a cup or tea, a good nights sleep, exercising or catching up with a friend helps relax the body and mind again.

Stress becomes a problem when the body is constantly in stress response mode.   Signs and symptoms of this include aches and pains, sleep problems, poor concentration, digestive problems, irritability, anxiety, depression, headaches and frequent colds.   The American Institute of Stress lists 50 common signs and symptoms of stress:

Relaxation is the antidote to stress.   Sometimes relaxation is seen as self-indulgent.   When relaxation counteracts the negative effects of stress listed above, then relaxation can be seen as a necessity rather than self-indulgent.

Relaxation through sleep, meditation, massage, exercise or catching up with friends and family counteract the negative effects of stress.   They help to lower blood pressure and increase feelings of well-being.   Exercise and holistic therapies increase the level of endorphins in the body, which are the body’s happy hormones.

Stressful events happen.  You can’t control the events, but you can control your response to the events.   By becoming aware of how stress affects your mental and physical health, you can learn to counteract stress in your life.   Stress management is simply self-management.