Thongtaccong Management

Managers are people who do things right

Author: mimin (Page 1 of 3)

Tips On Finding The Right Property Management Company

It is a hassle, more often than not, to find the right guy to do the job. This is certainly the case when searching for a property management company. While it’s true that the risk of property management is reduced considerably if a reliable real estate manager is on the job, you have to find the right property management company for the process to be successful. Read on to learn how to find the right one.

Search Your Local Network

Your local network will comprise trusted and reliable people. Ask your realtor, contractor, or handyman if they know of any property management company that you can work with. Also seek advice from network meetings and investment clubs. Gather all the options you can from the people you know and trust.

Ask The Company Officials Important Questions

Once you have a list of property management companies ready, you to need to speak to the concerned people in each company and ask them a number of questions. Find out who their other clients are and collect references. Look into the property portfolios they managed in the past and find out how efficient they were with these ventures. This can be a good measure of how likely it is that the company will succeed in managing your property portfolio.

Value For Money Is Key

After gathering all the necessary information, you should enquire about the pricing. Property managers are responsible for performing a multitude of functions that vary in both cost and responsibility. Before entering into an agreement with the company, ensure that you are getting everything you want from them, and all of that at a satisfying price.

Be smart about the money. Some companies may offer their services for a percentage of your monthly rent, but there may be others offering more services for a marginally higher price. It’s recommended that you decide exactly as per what suits you.

You Should Take The Calls

You and your property manager should work like a team, with no lapse in communication. Remember that it’s your property in question and so you are in control. The buck stops with you. So for instance, if the company relies on your rental income for their salary, they might look for ways to increase your rent amount. You should stay a step ahead and make sure this doesn’t affect you. Nobody should have the final word on your property but you.

Be Sure About Who You Finally Pick

Take your time in choosing the most suitable property manager. Not all those who make a good first impression will deliver. Even if a manager was referred to you, you should do your research anyway and run a thorough background check.

3 Steps of Anger Management tips

There are a lot of anger management tips to help people manage their anger. More often than not, the tips backfire on the person who tried it. Funny isn’t it? If the tips end up making people feeling angrier, we would start questioning ourselves whether we should even bother managing the anger that we feel. Yes, it still needs to be managed, but in the correct ways. So, how do we choose anger management tips that would best suit ourselves?

Know yourself. This is the first step in using any tips that you might want to try. If you know for sure that you hate dancing, do not get angry and blame the world when you try anger management tips that require you to dance. It is not about conquering your hatred; it is about conquering your anger. It takes great determination and a lot of self control for you to start trying to manage your anger; doing something that you hate would not work under such circumstances. Start with something simple, things that you like. If you feel that the tips are working on you, continue using it. There is no use in challenging yourself when you cannot even manage your anger just yet.

Choose a tip that serves the end result that you want. Knowing specifically what will happen when you try the tip helps you anticipate the consequences. Therefore, it minimizes the chances of you getting angry when things go wrong. Chances are things would not go wrong that much, since the tips specifically address the end condition that you want to end up in. Choosing a tip as specific as possible will help you in reducing the possibilities that it will not go as how you want it, thus reducing the cause and reasons for you to feel angry in the first place.

Stop worrying too much and enjoy it. It is hard enough to manage anger, do not start worrying about how to manage it or you will end up lost. There are a lot of tips out there. Sure enough, some of them will work on you. Once you know what you like to try on and found the one that is specifically addressing your condition and providing the end result that you want, go on and try it. Having too much ‘what ifs’ is never good for your mental health. If you want to challenge yourself, this is how you should do it.

It starts with the first step. Anger management tips will always start with the objective of managing your anger. It is your first step that counts. How you choose the tips that you want to try is as important as trying it out. Who would ever think that choosing anger management tips can help one in managing their anger too? Start focusing on yourself and what you want to achieve. It is about time you understand yourself better in order to have the self control that you need.

Time Management Tips For Bloggers

1. Catch Ideas As They Pop Up Unexpectedly

Like how writers and people of influence like to keep journals to jot down their experiences, feelings and thoughts, bloggers can also follow this practice to get ideas for their blog material. Apart from providing you with original ideas for your writing, jotting down those ideas as they pop up will save you a significant amount of time in the brainstorming process.

By the time you settle down to write your piece, you’d have quite a number of ideas in hand to work with. Our mind works best by means of association, so it’s easy to flow from one idea to another when you already have a few good leads to start from.

This is also the best exit strategy from writer’s block. Instead of starting with a blank slate, you can continue on from what you’ve already gathered from your jotted ideas.

2. Plan an Outline Prior to Writing

After you gather all the ideas in your head and on your notepad, you should start off with an outline of what your post will be about. Doing a simple outline first enables you to make changes or add ideas easily.

You can also link all sorts of random ideas together to make a coherent and convincing piece. With this basic structure of how your piece is going to flow, all your thought processes will have a clearer direction, which is essential to keep your writing in track.

It will be easier to churn out the final piece, overcome writer’s block and can prevent or minimize the possibility of double work (in which case, you don’t have to start on the same project from scratch).

3. Sticking to a Routine

Humans are creatures of habit. Once you’ve started yourself off with a set of routines, follow through it day-by-day, you’ll find that it’s not easy to break the streak. That’s good for you as a blogger because that means you have a system, and that system will help you meet deadlines.

The best thing about systems is that you can pick the best time of the day to write and then build your routine around it. It takes a bit of experimentation to get the right period for the right task.

Maybe you are the nocturnal type, who prefer to write during the wee hours of the night. It doesn’t matter; what matters is that you fix a schedule for your tasks, then it will be harder to procrastinate. Habits may take some time to form, but once formed, it is equally hard to break them.

4. Deal With One Thing at a Time

While working on your masterpiece, it’s often too easy to get distracted by other activities running in the background. You may have social messengers and video-streaming sites to check out, or personal emails to attend to. You may console yourself by thinking that you’re multi-tasking and getting everything done at the same time, but you’re just distracted.

Try to focus on just one thing at a time. It’s an effective time management mindset because it instills discipline in what you do. This also ensures that your mind doesn’t wander from one task to another and that you won’t lose your train of thought.

Everytime you do ‘get lost’, your mind needs to trace back to where you stopped to resume the thought process. It wastes an inordinate amount of time when every distraction adds up.

5. Have a Priority List

Listing things is one of the most basic way to manage time. If keeping such lists is a lifesaver for you, then a priority list is your guardian angel. In a priority list, you get to rank the order of importance of each task so that you can pay attention to the most urgent ones.

The list comes to be, based on the weight you put on each task. Need it completed earlier or need more time with it? Put it higher up the list. Can skip or forgo a certain task? Then, put it lower down the list.

The idea is to concentrate more on tasks that need to be completed earlier. For this to work, we can’t choose to do things based on how easy it is to complete or based on our personal preferences. Prioritization benefits your time management by first highlighting to you what needs your attention first.

10 Tips for a Fresh Financial Start

1. No Blame, No Shame

The foundation of a financial fresh start actually has nothing to do with money or specific financial dos and don’ts. The first, and most difficult, step is to absolve yourself and your spouse or partner of any guilt. So you need to make a promise to me. I need you to agree that the past is past, and we are going to focus on the future. Whatever mistakes you feel you have made with money, whatever moves you wish you had or hadn’t made, are irrelevant. We are free to move forward only when we remove the emotional shackles of regret. This cleansing step is especially important for couples. You are in this together, so no finger-pointing or arguing about any past decisions. Do we have a deal? Deep breath, everyone. Exhale. Now you are ready to put your financial house in order.

2. Take a Snapshot of Your Finances

It’s impossible to map out a route to your destination if you don’t know where you’re starting from. So let’s take a “before” picture of your finances. You’ve heard me say this a million times, but I want you to open every single financial statement—bank, credit card, mortgage, 401(k), brokerage account—and take a look. Only when you have everything in front of you can you set priorities about what to do next. If you’re vexed by your checking account (you swear you should have more money; you can never figure out why your checks bounce), start fresh by opening a new one. Leave enough in your existing account to cover any checks that haven’t yet been processed, then transfer the rest to the new account and close the old one. Next, sign up for online banking. It should be free, and as long as you use your home computer, it’s also safe. The advantage of online banking is that you can pay bills superfast, and your account is automatically credited or debited for each deposit and payment, making it easier to stay on track.

3. Adopt a Foolproof Credit Card Strategy

Make this the year you tackle that credit card debt once and for all. Doing so will make you and your family stronger and happier—forever. What happens to the stock market and the housing market is completely beyond your control. Credit card debt, however, is completely within your control. Every time you pay off a card with a 15 percent interest rate, you get a 15 percent return on your money.

See if you can qualify for a balance transfer card that offers a low or 0 percent introductory interest rate for the first six to 12 months. If you can get a good deal, move your high-rate debt to that new card. Do not use the card for any new charges, and push yourself hard to pay off the balance as soon as possible. If you don’t qualify, no worries. Always pay the minimum due on each card, on time, every month. Whenever possible, send in some extra money on the card that charges the highest interest rate. Your goal is to get the costliest balance paid off first. When the first card is cleared, direct your payments to the card with the next highest interest rate. Keep doing this until you’ve zeroed out the balances on all your cards.

4. Try Harder to Save

When I suggest that people send in more money to pay off credit card balances or increase the amount they save each month for retirement, I hear the same sad story: “Oh, Suze, I would if I could, but I can’t because there’s no extra money left at the end of the month.” I beg to differ. There’s no money left because you haven’t evaluated your spending habits. You need to dig deep and be willing to change those habits; to set goals and use those goals as the motivation for lifestyle changes that will allow you to save and invest. Take a clear-eyed look at your credit card statements for the past six months. Can you really tell me that there isn’t at least $50 or $100 showing up that you could easily do without? I didn’t think so. I call this “hidden money,” and here’s how you can find it.

I challenge you to reduce every one of your monthly utility bills by 10 percent. Change your calling plan or get rid of the landline account unless you absolutely need it. I bet you can seriously trim your utilities by spending one afternoon increasing your home’s energy efficiency: Attach a draft-blocking guard to the bottom of any external doors; add caulk or weatherproofing material around drafty windows; put low-flow aerators on your shower heads and faucets; and replace burned-out bulbs with compact fluorescent energy savers (they’re pricier than conventional bulbs but last much longer, saving you money over the long term).

Cars are another great place to save. Plan on driving yours for at least seven to ten years (regular tune-ups will help keep it running longer). Consider buying a used or certified pre-owned car rather than a brand new one. If you get a three-year loan, you have plenty of life left in your car, and money that once went to car payments is freed up for other financial needs. And please, avoid leasing. Since you don’t own the car, you never have a time when you are driving your car free and clear. Also, raising your deductible or designating one car to be used for low-mileage driving (under 15,000 miles a year) can reduce your insurance premiums by 15 percent or more.

5. Separate Savings from Investments

Now we’re ready to move on to how you put your money to work for you and your family. There is a vitally important difference between money you need to save and money you need to invest, yet it’s a distinction many people don’t grasp. Money you know you need or want to spend in the next few years is savings. Money you keep handy for an emergency belongs in savings. Money you hope to use soon for a down payment on a house belongs in savings. And all savings belong in a low-risk bank savings account or money market account. The goal is to keep your money safe so that when you go to use it, it will be there.

Money you won’t need to use for at least seven years is money for investing. The goal here is to have your account grow over time to help you finance a distant goal, such as building a retirement fund. Since your goal is in the future, money for investing belongs in stocks. As I’ll explain later, the potential inflation-beating returns that only stocks can deliver make them the right choice for a successful long-term investment strategy.

6. Know Your Credit Score

The big takeaway from the meltdown of 2008 is that banks are going to be a lot less eager to lend money to you. You will need a sparkling financial personality: a FICO score above 700, solid verifiable income, a manageable amount of existing debt—to get good offers for credit cards, auto loans, mortgages and refinancings. And you can expect lenders to continue to tighten the screws on your existing credit lines; all the credit they loved to give you before 2008 now makes them nervous. Get your credit score by going to MyFico.com. If your score is below 700, two of the best ways to improve it are to pay your bills on time and push yourself to reduce your credit card balances.

7. Evaluate Your Retirement Plan

If your 401(k) and Roth IRA lost value in 2008, that’s a good sign. It means you were invested in stocks, and that’s exactly where you should be invested—assuming your retirement is at least a decade away. Only stocks offer the chance of high returns that outpace the annual 3 to 4 percent inflation rate. In your 20s and 30s, aim to keep 80 percent in stocks and just 20 percent in bonds; you have time to ride out stock swings. As you age, slowly ramp up the percentage in bonds; in your 50s and 60s, consider keeping 40 percent or more in bonds to help buoy your portfolio when stocks are slumping. The biggest mistake you can make is to stop investing in your retirement accounts or to shift money from stocks into “safe” money market accounts.

Instead of worrying that your account is down, remember that your money buys more shares of your retirement funds. The more shares you own now, the more you will make when the market recovers. Buy and hold is the way to go.

8. Diversify Your Assests

Try to reduce any company stock you own in your 401(k) to less than 10 percent of your total retirement assets. Just ask employees of Enron, Bear Stearns, Merrill Lynch and Washington Mutual how smart it was to make big bets on their own stock. Mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are ideal for retirement savings because they own dozens of stocks in their portfolios.

If you’re flummoxed by all the investing options in your 401(k), look for a “target retirement” or “life cycle” fund. Then pick the specific portfolio that dovetails with your expected retirement age and you’re all set; you will be invested in a mix of stock and bond funds appropriate for your age. You can also invest your Roth IRA in these types of funds; Fidelity, T. Rowe Price, and Vanguard all offer these one-and-done options.

9. Don’t Obsess Over Your Home’s Value

If you own a house and can afford the mortgage, consider yourself lucky. Try to love your home for what it is: a haven for you and your family, not a path to riches. Unless you bought at the height of the market in a super-popular region that has gone Ice Age–cold, you’re going to be fine. And even if you did buy at the peak, if you plan on staying put for five to 10 years, the real estate market will recover with time. But let’s be clear: A home is not an investment that will fund your retirement or vacations. The 10 or 20 percent annual gains during the housing boom were temporary insanity. Buy a house you can really afford, and over time it will rise in value. But its main value is as a home. Period.

If you got caught buying into the housing bubble and are now in mortgage trouble, talk to the lender about your options. Don’t raid your retirement accounts to keep up with the payments. What happens when the retirement accounts run dry? You still won’t be able to cover the mortgage, and you will have lost all your future security.

Here’s some perspective: The 2008 market slide is the tenth bear market (commonly accepted as a decline of at least 20 percent) since 1950. If you’d put your money in stocks in 1950 and stayed invested through the ups and downs, your average annual return through 2007 would have been more than 10 percent. That’s not to say you can count on an average of 10 percent over the next 50 or so years (7 to 8 percent is probably more realistic), but it illustrates how keeping focused on the long term pays off.

10. Protect Your Family—and Your Nest Egg

If there is anyone dependent on your income—parents, children, relatives—you need life insurance. For the vast majority of us, term life insurance is all we need, because it protects you for the “term” of the policy (from five to 30 years) and is incredibly inexpensive. As always, it’s important to buy a policy from a firm with a strong financial rating, but even if an insurance company runs into trouble, your state insurance department has funds set aside to help protect you. I also want you to get your estate papers in order. You should have a living revocable trust (this document spells out how your assets should be distributed) with an incapacity clause, as well as a will. Also, have an “advance medical directive” in place that tells your doctors the type of care you want if you become unable to speak for yourself.

Finally, every family should have an emergency savings account that can cover at least eight months of living expenses. And I also want every woman to have her own personal savings account that could support her for at least three months, because you never know. The best place for your savings is an FDIC-insured bank (or a credit union backed by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund). If you keep less than $100,000 at an FDIC bank, no matter what happens to the bank, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (part of the U.S. government) will make sure you get every penny back. Online banks that are FDIC insured are just as safe as the bank downtown. (Please note: The emergency federal legislation passed last October increased the FDIC insurance limit to $250,000 through December 2009. But to be extra safe, keep no more than $100,000 in any single bank.)

21 Classroom Management Tips And Tricks

Doesn’t every teacher dream of an efficient classroom where no problems occur and lessons run smoothly? Yes I know probably not a reality, but I believe there are definitely strategies and processes that you can put in place to assist with the smooth running of your classroom. You’re probably already doing some of these classroom management tips and tricks or you are familiar with them. But, I hope you find some new ideas in this list to help you with your classroom management.

Tip 1: Ensure you have procedures in place for students moving around the room and school. This might mean that you get your students to line up in two lines each time, with line leaders at the front.

Tip 2: Do you have early finishers in your class? If so, then make sure you have a plan in place for these students. You could give early finishers free time or maybe you could buddy them up with another student to assist them with finishing their work. Try different approaches to see what is the least disruptive to the other students still working.

Tip 3: Model desirable behavior, e.g. good organization, respect for others, courtesy, responsibility etc.

Tip 4: Ensure you define the limits of behavior. Children will often behave inappropriately because they do not know what is expected of them. What is obvious to you may not be so to the child.

Tip 5: Use positive language to encourage positive behavior. I’ve put together a poster below that you can have on hand to help you use positive language. Just click on the image to download your copy.

Tip 6: Using signals can be key to a well run classroom. Develop a signal or routine that means ‘quiet please.’ Pausing can also work well as the signal for quiet or silence.

Tip 7: You may need to limit options if you find your students become overstimulated or overwhelmed.

Tip 8: Are you receptive to your students’ ideas? Do you listen attentively and actively? Use paraphrasing to help you understand your students’ thoughts, feelings and concepts.

Tip 9: A sense of humor can go a long way in helping to create a happy, well run classroom. Appreciate the jokes and funny stories your students tell you.

Tip 10: Implementing class meetings are a great way to improve communication and cohesiveness of a class. These are a great way to resolve any problems, plan fun activities and improve communication skills.

Tip 11: The first 5 minutes of a lesson really counts; and it usually sets the tone for how the rest of the lesson will go. Do you use a variety of teaching strategies to entice your students in the first few minutes of the lesson?

Tip 12: Remember to be confident and enthusiastic and use your voice clearly to explain concepts and keep students on track during a lesson.

Tip 13: Gain the full attention of the class before you give instructions.

Tip 14: Teach social skills to help your students interact with others, increase self esteem and be accepting of other students’ differences. Select one social skill to focus on for the month and take note of when you see students practicing the skill. Remember to give positive verbal feedback to the students when you observe the skill.

Tip 15: Check that your students understand a task before allowing them to begin the task. Ask your students to repeat directions for procedures or list the main points of your instruction.

Tip 16: When demonstrating a task to students prepare all equipment ahead of time. Arrange the class so that all students can see and maintain student attention throughout the demonstration. Write important points from the demonstration on the board as you go as it can assist with review. Allow your students to practice what was demonstrated.

Tip 17: Use good oral communication that is: audible, clear and varied (not in monotones). Use language that your students understand.

Tip 18: Remember your body language can set the tone for a lesson as well. Check your: facial expression, movements, gestures, mannerisms and eye contact.

Tip 19: Use a variety of questions to engage your students, check for understanding and extend their thinking. Remember to allow time for students to think and answer the question. Recognize the value of student answers.

Tip 20: Check that your students carry out your directions. Comment on the way the directions are carried out and praise if necessary.

Tip 21: Self-evaluate for self-improvement.

7 Simple Lead Management Tips

If we know one thing about lead management, it’s that it’s not easy. What works for one company isn’t always the right approach for another. When it comes to generating new business and managing the sales process, every company needs a defined lead management process that will get sales the leads they want and marketing the recognition they deserve.

But that’s a lot easier said than done, isn’t it? With the interests of multiple departments at stake, it can be hard to come up with a set process that will satisfy all parties. Fortunately, we’ve got your back. Sometimes, all you need is a little push in the right direction to get you started.

Here are our 7 simple tips for fail-proof lead management:

1. Know your buyer profile.
Sales and marketing need to be on the same page. Are you selling to B2B or B2C? Small companies or enterprise? What’s their annual revenue look like? What about the length of their sales cycle? Are you selling to a CEO, marketing director, or other decision maker? Set up a profile that both departments can reference so that the definition of a “good lead” always matches up.

2. Score and grade leads.
Once you know your buyer profile, it should be easier to set and weigh criteria that will tell you whether or not a lead is a good fit. Instead of manually sifting through lead data, use a system like marketing automation to do this kind of thing for you. With scoring and grading rules in place, you can assure that leads are getting passed from marketing to sales exactly when you want them to be.

3. Define the difference between interest and intent.
Are leads looking at white papers and webinars, or are they browsing more action-oriented items like buyer’s guides and pricing information? If they’re just poking around on your site, they’re showing interest. But if they’re showing more initiative, like signing up for product demonstrations and viewing pricing information, that indicates intent. These are going to be your hotter leads. Make sure your sales and marketing teams understand the difference between these two behaviors by having a clear definition of what actions matter the most.

4. Collect (the right) information from leads.
An important part of lead management is creating forms and landing pages to collect lead information. Have sales and marketing agree on what information is the most critical to collect, whether it’s job title, industry, or location. Depending on how you qualify and assign leads, certain criteria will be more important than others. Include these fields on your forms, keeping in mind that the longer your forms, the lower your conversion rates.

5. Nurture leads who aren’t quite sales-ready.
Lead nurturing, or the building of relationships with leads through tactics like drip campaigns (emails that drip content to leads over time), is an important part of lead management. During the sales process, you’ll often encounter leads who aren’t ready to buy, and won’t be ready for several months. Instead of giving up on them, you can place them on lead nurturing tracks to keep your company’s product or service top of mind.

6. Develop content to support lead nurturing efforts.
When it comes to lead nurturing, many companies find themselves unprepared from a content perspective. To send drip emails that are both effective and relevant, you need to have an existing store of content that you can pull from. Take the time to build up this content before deploying any of your lead nurturing campaigns.

7. Track and report.
Take advantage of any reporting functionalities you have at your fingertips to constantly track and measure your lead management efforts. For example, marketing automation allows you to report on drip campaigns and see how many prospects were converted to opportunities or closed deals. Taking a look at your metrics gives you great insight into what you’re doing well, while also helping to identify points of improvement.

6 time management tips for college students

TIP 1: Read your course calendar
Sometimes the best advice is among the simplest: One of the first and most important steps in achieving successful time management in college is to read your course calendars carefully.

“[A course calendar] is your best friend,” says Matthew Schlager. If you know the due dates for specific assignments and the time frames for quizzes, papers and exams, you’ll be able to spread out the necessary school work. “My motto is, ‘Due on Sunday doesn’t mean do on Sunday,’ ” Schlager adds.

TIP 2: Plan ahead
Kristin Jones’ advice serves as a great companion to Schlager’s: Jones urges the importance of planning ahead. “I would look ahead into each week to see what assignments were due,” she says. She’d then plan out her week so that she was doing something for the class every day, alleviating the intensity of the workload. “It’s very hard to catch up once you get behind,” she says.

Whether you get a good grasp on your coursework for the entire semester, or simply for the next week, creating a plan will balance your workload and minimize the possibility for those dreaded, but sometimes necessary, all-night cram sessions.

TIP 3: Make schedules
It can be easy to procrastinate in college—there is an unintentional consistency of letting the clutter of late work nights, dinner plans and school plays postpone your schoolwork. This often results in completing assignments in the wee hours before they’re due.

Frank Ortiz suggests the effectiveness of taking charge and giving yourself some guidelines. “Make schedules. Print the weekly assignment sheets and check them off as you [complete] them,” he says.

Billy Moore agrees: “Stay dedicated to the time that you set aside for your school work,” adding that it’s often helpful to schedule a bit of extra time in that window for unexpected questions or technical issues you may come across.

TIP 4: Make checklists
Printing or writing out checklists for each class or each day of the week can be a helpful way of remembering everything you need to get done. “You can check [each item] off after you’re done with it,” says Ashley Esquibel, who uses this method with her school work.

Charisse Nicole keeps a virtual notepad open on her computer with each week’s checklist. “I leave my notepad up all week and check things off as I go along,” she says. This not only helps her see how much she has left to do, but it also allows her to appreciate each little accomplishment along the way.

TIP 5: Stay organized
Keeping your school work organized can be a huge factor in saving you some time throughout the week, especially if you’re taking more than one class at a time. If you have separate binders, notebooks and folders for each class, you’ll quickly be able to find that sheet of notes you need for next week’s test or the printed article you planned to reference for your big research paper.

Avoiding clutter isn’t just important when organizing your notes and hand-outs. Be sure to keep your computer desktop organized in a way that always allows you to locate the files you’ll need for each particular class.

TIP 6: Be healthy
This may seem like the kind of advice you heard from your mother and now pass down to your own kids in the form of warm socks in the winter, sunscreen in the summer and daily vitamins year-round, but it can actually play a huge role in successfully managing your time while in college.

Practicing regular exercise can keep your energy levels up, resulting in a more engaged mind when doing school work. Many also assert that getting adequate sleep at night can save college students time—this not only helps you avoid the time taken for afternoon naps, but it also can increase your alertness and decrease your stress levels.

10 Stress Management Tips from the Experts

Stress is a fact of life, but being stressed out is not. We don’t always have control over what happens to us, says Allen Elkin, Ph.D., director of the Stress Management Counseling Center in New York City, and yet, that doesn’t mean we have to react to a difficult, challenging situation by becoming frazzled or feeling overwhelmed or distraught. Being overly anxious is not just a mental hazard; it’s a physical one too. The more stressed out we are the more vulnerable we are to colds, flu, and a host of chronic or life-threatening illnesses. And the less open we are to the beauty and pleasure of life. For your emotional and bodily benefit, we’ve consulted experts and come up with 37 easy, natural alternatives to anxiety.

1. Breathe Easily
“Breathing from your diaphragm oxygenates your blood, which helps you relax almost instantly,” says Robert Cooper, Ph.D., the San Francisco coauthor of The Power of 5 (Rodale Press, 1996), a book of five-second and five-minute health tips. Shallow chest breathing, by contrast, can cause your heart to beat faster and your muscles to tense up, exacerbating feelings of stress. To breathe deeply, begin by putting your hand on your abdomen just below the navel. Inhale slowly through your nose and watch your hand move out as your belly expands. Hold the breath for a few seconds, then exhale slowly. Repeat several times.

2. Visualize Calm
It sounds New Age-y, but at least one study, done at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, has found that it’s highly effective in reducing stress. Dr. Cooper recommends imagining you’re in a hot shower and a wave of relaxation is washing your stress down the drain. Gerald Epstein, M.D., the New York City author of Healing Visualizations (Bantam Doubleday Dell Press, 1989), suggests the following routine: Close your eyes, take three long, slow breaths, and spend a few seconds picturing a relaxing scene, such as walking in a meadow, kneeling by a brook, or lying on the beach. Focus on the details—the sights, the sounds, the smells.

3. Make Time for a Mini Self-Massage
Maria Hernandez-Reif, Ph.D., of the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine, recommends simply massaging the palm of one hand by making a circular motion with the thumb of the other. Or use a massage gadget. The SelfCare catalog offers several, such as the S-shaped Tamm unit, that allow you to massage hard-to-reach spots on your back.

4. Try a Tonic
A study at Duke University in Durham, NC, found homeopathy effective in quelling anxiety disorders. Look for stress formulas such as Nerve Tonic (from Hyland) or Sedalia (from Boiron) in your health food store, or consult a licensed homeopath.

5. Say Cheese
Smiling is a two-way mechanism. We do it when we’re relaxed and happy, but doing it can also make us feel relaxed and happy. “Smiling transmits nerve impulses from the facial muscles to the limbic system, a key emotional center in the brain, tilting the neurochemical balance toward calm,” Dr. Cooper explains. Go ahead and grin. Don’t you feel better already?

6. Do Some Math
Using a scale of one to 10, with one being the equivalent of a minor hassle and 10 being a true catastrophe, assign a number to whatever it is that’s making you feel anxious. “You’ll find that most problems we encounter rate somewhere in the two to five range—in other words, they’re really not such a big deal,” says Dr. Elkin.

7. Stop Gritting Your Teeth
Stress tends to settle in certain parts of our bodies, the jaw being one of them. When things get hectic, try this tip from Dr. Cooper: Place your index fingertips on your jaw joints, just in front of your ears; clench your teeth and inhale deeply. Hold the breath for a moment, and as you exhale say, “Ah-h-h-h,” then unclench your teeth. Repeat a few times.

8. Compose a Mantra
Devise an affirmation — a short, clear, positive statement that focuses on your coping abilities. “Affirmations are a good way to silence the self-critical voice we all carry with us that only adds to our stress,” Dr. Elkin says. The next time you feel as if your life is one disaster after another, repeat 10 times, “I feel calm. I can handle this.”

9. Check Your Chi
Qigong (pronounced chee-gong) is a 5,000-year-old Chinese practice designed to promote the flow of chi, the vital life force that flows throughout the body, regulating its functions. Qigong master Ching-Tse Lee, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at Brooklyn College in New York, recommends this calming exercise: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and parallel. Bend your knees to a quarter-squat position (about 45 degrees) while keeping your upper body straight. Observe your breathing for a couple of breaths. Inhale and bring your arms slowly up in front of you to shoulder height with your elbows slightly bent. Exhale, stretching your arms straight out. Inhale again, bend your elbows slightly and drop your arms down slowly until your thumbs touch the sides of your legs. Exhale one more time, then stand up straight.

10. Be a Fighter
“At the first sign of stress, you often hear people complain, ‘What did I do to deserve this?’” says Dr. Cooper. The trouble is, feeling like a victim only increases feelings of stress and helplessness. Instead, focus on being proactive. If your flight gets canceled, don’t wallow in self-pity. Find another one. If your office is too hot or too cold, don’t suffer in silence. Call the building manager and ask what can be done to make things more comfortable.

The 10 Golden Rules of Effective Management

The 10 Golden Rules of Effective Management

Even if your job title doesn’t include “manager,” there’s a good chance you’ll have to handle some management duty sometime in your career. And, as an entrepreneur, you’re already a manager, because almost every one of your responsibilities has some management element to it.

In short, your employees are the ones making your vision a reality, and your job is to make sure they do it efficiently.

But being an effective manager is about more than just driving your employees to work harder — or more efficiently. Forcing employees to work a certain way can breed resentment, even disloyalty, while being too soft can lead to bad habits, laziness or boredom. There’s no “right” management style, as each employee and company is going to have an individual perspective.

But there are some universally “wrong” ways to manage. Avoid them by following these 10 “golden” rules of effective management:

1. Be consistent.

This is the first rule because it applies to most of the others. Before your management approach can be effective, it must be consistent. You must reward the same behaviors every time they appear, discourage the same behaviors when they appear and treat every member of your team with an equal, level-headed view.

2. Focus on clarity, accuracy and thoroughness in communication.

How you communicate to your team can dictate your eventual success. When relaying instructions, recapping meetings or just doling out company updates, strive for the clarity, accuracy and thoroughness of your communication. This goes for any other medium, whether that means in-person communication, email or a phone call. Clarity, accuracy and thoroughness are the best way to avoid miscommunication and keep your team on the same page.

3. Set the goal of working as a team.

If you want your team members to work together, have them work for something together. Setting goals just for the department or one individual breeds a limited mentality and forces team members to remain isolated. Instead, give staffers a unified focus and purpose, to inspire them together.

4. Publicly reward and recognize hard work.

When a member of your team does something exceptional, reward him/her — with a bonus, a small trophy or even just a vocal recognition. Do this in front of the group; it will make the intended recipient feel good and show the rest of the team that hard work is rewarded. The only caveat goes back to rule one: Be consistent in your rewards so you won’t be seen as playing favorites.

5. Be the example.

As the manager and leader, you should set an example in terms of your behavior. If you show up late, your team will be less punctual. If you lose your temper easily, others will be amiss in keeping their emotions in check. Strive to be your own ideal of the perfect worker, especially in front of the team.

6. Never go with ‘one-size-fits-all.’

Your team is comprised of individuals with unique preferences, strengths, weaknesses and ideas. Never use the exact same approach to motivate, encourage or mold all of them. Focus on individuals, and customize your approach to fit each one.

7. Remain as transparent as possible.

Transparency shows your integrity as a leader, and builds trust with the individual members of your team. If you lie about something, or withhold information, you could jeopardize your relationships and the respect you command as a leader.

8. Encourage all opinions and ideas.

The more people you have actively participating in discussions and attempting to make improvements to the organization, the better. Never chastise a team member for voicing an opinion respectfully — even if it goes against your original vision or isn’t well thought out. Cutting someone down for voicing an opinion builds resentment, and discourages people from sharing their own new thoughts.

9. Help people enjoy work.

You don’t need a pool table or dress code abolition to make work fun. You can make the workday more enjoyable with such new elements as surprise lunch outings, a dedicated break room or even just casual conversations with your workers. Help your people enjoy coming to work, and they’ll do their best work for you.

10. Listen and ask questions.

If someone doesn’t agree with your management style or doesn’t like the direction of the company, don’t silence that person. Listen. And ask questions of your entire team: What do you think of this? How do you feel about that? This open dialogue makes it easier to proactively identify problems and work together to create a mutually beneficial environment. It will also make your employees feel appreciated and acknowledged.

As you’ll notice, these rules leave plenty of wiggle room to apply your own personal “brand” of leadership and management. They stand as fundamental truths, considerations and principles that govern an effective management role rather than a strict instruction manual to success. Stay true to these principles in addition to your own, and you’ll unify your team in a rewarding and enriching environment.

Page 1 of 3