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Tuesday, February 05, 2008
Ways to Reduce Stress and Be Productive
By Melody Spier

If you own a home-based business, you may have found that you spend more time working and less time with your family, the reason you started a home-based business in the first place. Finding a balance between the two can be difficult because you want to be successful at both. What happens is you get tired, stressed and become unproductive in both areas.

You can successfully balance your home life and your home-based business. One key component to finding balance is controlling your time, first, by deciding what you can and cannot do and then organizing yourself so that you complete your daily tasks more efficiently. When you begin each day knowing what you need to accomplish and how you are going to do it, you will get more work done, in less time and with less stress.

A schedule is crucial to your success at work, but even more necessary if you expect to have any time left for your family. When the workday is over; leave your desk, shut the door and give your family time the same undivided attention as you do your work. All the pressing business matters and unfinished projects can wait until the next day.

By following a schedule and accepting that it’s okay to leave unfinished work for another day, you may find you have fewer unfinished business matters at the end of the day and far less stress.

Here are some ways to use your time more effectively:

Prioritize. Write down everything that needs to be done and then prioritize the list.

Keep it simple. Don't make everyday tasks harder than they have to be. Learn the quickest, easiest way to complete the task and do it that way every time.

Where are you going? If it’s your first time driving to a new location, get directions. A big time waster is driving around aimlessly trying to locate a building you were sure you knew how to get to. Instead, take 5 minutes to look on mapquest.com or maps.google.com and get driving directions.

Are you done? When you are organized, you can quickly see what has been completed and what needs to be finished. Using a ‘to do’ list is one of the easiest ways to keep track of your tasks. A simple spiral notebooks works great.

Declutter your office. If you don’t need it, want it or use it, why should you keep it? By eliminating clutter, you not only free up space but the time it takes to move all that unnecessary stuff around because it’s in your way.

Eliminate unnecessary interruptions. A pet peeve of mine is to be half way through a project that requires my complete attention and the phone rings or someone barges in and needs something done “right now.” For times like this, let your voicemail take your calls, give family members a 10 minute warning ahead of time so they can get all their questions, requests and emergencies out of the way before you begin. For smaller children, give them a quiet activity that they can do while you are working.

Toss Junk Mail. When going through the mail have a wastebasket next to you so you can toss any junk mail that you may have. Better yet, toss it at the post office so you don’t drag it home! While at the post office, buy stamps by the roll and envelopes in bulk so you have them on hand.

Plan your attack. Whether you are shopping for groceries, clothes or office supplies, you need to make it as quick and painless as possible. Instead of making short shopping trips every day, plan on doing all of your shopping once a week or if possible twice a month.

Make a list of what you need and where you have to go to buy it. Know your route and plan to shop for non-perishable items first and groceries last, while also trying to avoid backtracking. Only buy what’s on the list! As much as this hurts me to say - if you don’t have shoes on the list, stay out of the shoe section. Browsing wastes time and money.

Prepare in advance. Mornings will run a lot smoother if you set the kid’s school clothes, hair accessories, shoes & backpacks out the night before.

This is true of business tasks too. At the end of the workday, set out anything you know you will need the next morning. If you make all your calls first thing in the morning, leave yourself a pen, paper, any account information and the rolodex out so it shaves off a few minutes the next morning.

Ask for help. If your business has grown to the point that you can no longer handle it alone, you may want to consider outsourcing. Virtual Assistants can handle all the tedious, time-consuming tasks that you don’t know how to do, don’t like doing or simply don’t have time for, leaving you extra time to do what you do best.

You can balance your home and business if you get organized, manage your time wisely and set realistic goals as to what you can accomplish in one day. Making small changes in the way you work can add up to lots of extra time.

Melody Spier is a work at home mom of two teens and the owner of Essential Office Support, a virtual support business catering to small and home-based businesses. If your days are spent working on time-consuming tasks instead of doing what you do best, contact Melody to find out how a Virtual

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Saturday, January 19, 2008
RECLAIMING OUR BODIES
“The majority cares little for ideals and integrity. What it craves is display.”
-- Emma Goldman


The contemporary breast is in crisis. It cries out for attention, dignity, love and respect. Women must learn to stop warring with their bodies and learn to love them unconditionally. Paradoxically, it is often breast cancer that serves as the wake-up call to rescue the breast from its distorted status. As one woman said: ‘Amazon women in Greek mythology removed a breast to become master archers and warriors; similarly, we must remove the shackles of breast ideology.’

~ Michal Schonbrun

“For women... bras, panties, bathing suits, and other stereotypical gear are visual reminders of a commercial, idealized feminine image that our real and diverse female bodies can’t possibly fit. Without these visual references, each individual woman’s body demands to be accepted on its own terms. We stop being comparatives. We begin to be unique.”

-- Gloria Steinem

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Friday, December 07, 2007
How To Put On Eye Shadow Like A Pro
By Lynn Wieczorek

Have you ever seen a woman wearing makeup that you thought made her look like a clown? It sounds horrible to say, but many women have no clue how to put on eye shadow properly. It isn't a big deal unless you really want to dazzle. And what woman do you know that doesn't want to dazzle?

Okay, so let's get going... it's not difficult to learn the proper techniques to applying eye shadow, but it does take some time and a little bit of that extra shadow that you have laying around to practice with. Don't sweat the small stuff - after a little practice and some good makeup tips you'll be applying your eye shadow like the diva that you are.

Luckily, learning how to put on eye shadow the correct way is not difficult. As a matter of fact, it is just a matter of finding the right style and the right technique for you. Don't be frustrated if you don't get it right the first time. Here are a few tips on helping you apply your makeup.

Tips and Tricks to Try at Home to Get the Perfect Look

Start with a base coat, as you would any other type of makeup. Loose powder works wonders for this purpose.

Blend. Blend. Blend. That can not be stressed nearly enough. You will be surprised at what wonders blending can do for a botched eye shadow job.

If you want a dramatic look, dip the tip of your eye shadow brush in water and then in your shadow. This makes the color deeper, more dramatic.

Choose colors that make the colors of your eyes really stand out. Brown shadow for brown eyes. Blue shadow for blue eyes and yes, green shadow for green eyes. It doesn't have to be clown-bright; subtle shading will do just fine.

Applying a lighter shadow to the inner corner of your eye and a darker color from the middle of your lid to the outside can help your eyes appear bigger, and further apart. This is great for people who are self conscious about the closeness of their eyes together.

If you wear glasses, learn how to apply eye shadow accordingly. This means that you should keep the drama to a low roar, staying away from dark liners and smoky shadows.

Go through your makeup and toss out old shadows every six months or so. Old shadows don't apply as well as newer ones do.

Learning how to apply eye shadow properly is not always the easiest thing to do, especially for those out there who don't really deal too much with makeup in the first place. If you aren't entirely sure of what you are doing in the first place, try and get in some practice time a few days before the actual event in question takes place, so you can get some advice if need be and take things from there.

Learning to put on eye shadow is not as difficult as it looks, but it does take some time and practice. Getting tips from a professional would be my next recommendation if your serious about getting spectacular life-changing results. The winks and whistles as you walk down the street is what awaits you. So what are you waiting for? Grab your makeup and get going!

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