Ask the Expert: “How can I reduce the stress in my personal life?”

Making a “to do” list sounds simple enough, but when you’re going 90 miles a minute, it’s easy to lose focus. Business Expert and all-around organized guy, John Harms explains what you can do to keep yourself on track and minimize frustration.

JH: Picture this: you’re driving to work and your mind is going a mile a minute and you’re thinking of all the things you need to get done, but they’re just not getting done. Simple things. And then you get to work and you’re instantly bogged down by work stuff only to occasionally think throughout the day about all the personal stuff you still need to do. Then the day ends and on the drive home you think about your mental list again, but you gotta get home and make dinner or pick the kids up. The merry-go-round goes around and around (and around). Stress is the end result.


So here’s what I do: I make a list. Yes, a handwritten, simple check box list of things that keep me up at night. Some big, many small, but they are out of my head and down on paper with an empty checkbox just waiting to be checked. It sits right in the center of my desk. Why? Because these things also matter, and they are what stress me out and weigh me down. These are all things that are part of my list:

[ ] Get permit to take down the dead trees before winter
[ ] Fix the kitchen window
[ ] Get pool cover fixed
[ ] Close sprinkler system
[ ] Get heating system maintenance before November
[ ] Wash your car!
[ ] Check last time oil changed and if necessary get appointment
[ ] Call groomer for dog
[ ] Service the Harley for the winter


These things drive me crazy. They make me feel like I’m treading water with a brick on my foot. So, every day I pick two things and just DO THEM! Most require a call and an appointment for someone else to do something, but I need to organize it and get it on the schedule for an early morning or a weekend and check it off my list. The list will continue on and on and I understand that. But having it there to allow me to clear my head, visualize them and attack them two per day, allows me to finally feel a little lighter on my feet (or in my chair), and allows me to listen to music and get lost in a moment on the way home from work. Try it! You’ll get some stuff done!

Who is John Harms?

John Harms, Founder & CEO of Millennium Systems International, creator of Millennium Software, has been designing industry leading software and educating the beauty & wellness industry since 1987. Today, Millennium is utilized in thousands of businesses in over 38 countries and operating with approximately 150+ employees worldwide.  Millennium currently runs its corporate headquarters out of New Jersey and its international office is based in the U.K.