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When you plug in the words "stress
management" into any search engine on the Internet, you'll
find thousands upon thousands of sites totally dedicated to the
subject. Lots of remedies pop up -- anything from Kava Kava,
meditation and a technique called "drumming" which
involves rockin' and rollin' your way through stress on a drum-set.
There's even an American Institute of Stress! It's no surprise
the world has gone on stress overload. I'm getting stressed looking
through the list of stress management sites!
For those of us trying to balance
working at home and raising a family delicately on our tension-filled
shoulders, it's a real balancing act (pardon the pun, please).
The number of members in our ranks grows quickly each year. How
should we handle all this stress so we can enjoy the benefits
that working at home brings us? That's what this monthly column
is all about. Yes, yet another source for those of us pulling
enough hair out of our heads to make a nice hairpiece for those
bald basketball players waiting for the season to start. But
At the start of this New Year,
most of us are already eager to begin the first step in the stress
management process. Something about the first month in a fresh
year beckons us to GET ORGANIZED. As I look around at the clutter
on my desk and on top of the computer monitor, scanner and printer,
I take a deep breath and sigh. I know I would feel less stressed
if I could actually find a pen in five seconds instead of five
minutes. Although it may seem like a daunting task, like my mother
always said, "inch by inch
life is a cinch, yard by yard life is hard."
The first step is to create a
filing system. You don't have to invest a lot of money here,
just buy a reasonably inexpensive cabinet and some file folders.
The main feature the cabinet should have is at least two drawers
and good construction. You don't want it to fall apart come tax
time in April when you really need to find those bills and receipts
you've been filing away all year. I keep my financial records,
client information and web design library of newspaper and magazine
articles completely separate from one another. I find that when
it doesn't take me long to locate my latest bank statement, I
have a lot less stress on my hands and a good feeling when I
see those latest figures.
Another way to keep yourself
organized is to get a good software program that actually keeps
your accounting information in one place. My favorite is Quick
Books Pro by Intuit. Not only does it balance my checkbook, it
also helps me create a complete client list including address,
contact name and phone number information. It even has a feature
that helps you track your phone calls to potential clients and
reminds you when to call and tell them you're still around.
Last but not least, get some
kind of a day-timer. This acts like a diary for working adults
who need to schedule little Johnny's playdate before they meet
with their next client, but after the dog goes to the vet for
his ringworm shot. If you really want to keep stress levels to
a minimum, keep it up-to-date on a daily basis. Write EVERYTHING
down and make "to do lists" by priority. This is the
only way for me to really keep tabs on what needs to be done.
My particular day-timer was created by Franklin Covey. You can
find their stores in any mall. They even offer a short seminar
on how to use the day-timer effectively. I recommend taking it
because it helped me learn to get organized and keep some semblance
of order throughout the year.
Organization is a tough task
when you're a file-piler and memo-stacker, but you can do it.
In the end you'll be glad you took the time to get organized
and feel less stressed once you see your desktop again. Now,
where did I put my massage therapist's phone number?
Desiree Scales is the Owner of Bella Web Design at 3605 Sandy Plains Rd., Suite 240-121, Marietta,
GA 30066, Email: [email protected], Phone: 770-509-8797,
Fax: 770-509-9488 (if busy, call above number), Web site: