Life can be hard enough just getting through your workday with your wits intact. Trying to juggle your business and personal life is hard without an assistant. And even if you’re lucky enough to have an assistant, if you’re a born perfectionist, then you know no one will get the job done better than you. So, instead of becoming frazzled by the constant barrage of items that need to be accounted for and handled, why not let apps on your smartphone help ease your workload and decrease your stress?
Are you an entrepreneur or established professional who constantly needs to review or sign off on documents? Electronic signatures are recognized as valid and legally binding in most cases, hence the proliferation of e-sign apps. Be sure to find the right one that works for you so that you can multitask like a boss while you grab your morning latte as you quickly review and sign a document. Once you’ve electronically signed your document, you can either make your way to a fax machine and handle business the analog way, or you can employ one of several apps on your smartphone allowing you to fax your document, all with a few finger taps.
Now, you’re bound to encounter a situation where you're sending sensitive information that you’d rather not have exposed by young, bored hackers avoiding vitamin D in their basements. For example, perhaps you need to send tax documents to your accountant in preparation for tax season. Sending documents securely will require a computer, which may increase your peace of mind, as opposed to sending sensitive documents via a smartphone app.
There are several options to choose from that allow for the encryption needs your sensitive documents require. While you're at it, you may want to make a minimal investment in having your own mobile Wi-Fi hotspot so that you’re not compromising your documents by sending them over a public Wi-Fi connection or an easily compromised Wi-Fi connection such as those found in coffee shops and hotels and through other high-use Wi-Fi networks.
Faced with keeping track of paper receipts or receipts sent via an email or text attachment? These apps can use your smartphone’s camera to scan documents, which can then be saved and stored in any one of several cloud-based apps of your choosing.
Want to really organize your life to decrease even more stress? Why not use apps that help you create to-do and checklists, one of which allows you to collaborate with others? This last one is best for "honey, do" lists or working with a team on a group project.
Not convinced that your smartphone can help reduce your stress while streamlining your workload? A recent study (pdf) found that the myth of the "strong black woman” stereotype only serves to worsen stress, which can result in the development or worsening of depression and anxiety.
If you start to experience decreased stress from your workload, be sure to take some time for yourself, even if it's only 15 minutes, and indulge in some quiet solitude, or treat yourself to apps devoted to meditation by way of your smartphone.
If you fancy yourself a true boss, you may be driven to try to complete as much as possible. James Brown may have proclaimed that one has to pay the cost to be the boss, but make sure your cost doesn’t include sacrificing your mental health. Hopefully, using these apps and resources to streamline your life will surely place you in control of your professional life and mental health.
Dr. Imani J. Walker is a physician trained in general adult and forensic psychiatry. She resides in Los Angeles.