December 10, 2012

This Holiday Season, Actually Take A Holiday

The Holiday Season is quickly approaching and has a tendency to put everyone on overdrive. There’s pressure to buy gifts, attend social events and please family and friends. And for business owners the pressure is felt even more so as they close out their year and focus on the next.

The holidays can be overwhelming and for a business owner who is already overwhelmed on a fairly consistent basis, and this time of the year can provide all the ingredients for mental fatigue.

So as a business owner what can you do about it?

Hand off the shopping list to a significant other and bury yourself in holiday food and mindless television. No, no, no. Back away from your over-sized adult footie pajamas.

The way to handle mental fatigue is to do it in a responsible way that will help you handle stress on a regular basis. Take the time that you do have off to recharge and rethink how you handle decision-making and delegating.

Let me break it down for you:

Recharge—Recharging is a simple concept that not enough of us commit to. As you take this time to spend more time with loved ones, perhaps one of the most important people you can spend time with is yourself. Rest, eat right, exercise, get out of the house. And you do have time for this, despite what you’re mentally saying right now. How do I know this? Because you find time for Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, television, etcetera. Take even 15 minutes a day to focus on yourself and get active.

In a study published in Psychological Bulletin, researchers analyzed 70 studies on exercise and fatigue involving more than 6,800 people.

“More than 90% of the studies showed the same thing: Sedentary people who completed a regular exercise program reported improved energy levels compared to groups that did not exercise,” says Patrick O’Connor, a professor in the department of kinesiology at the University of Georgia. “It’s a very consistent effect. The results show that regular exercise increases energy and reduces fatigue.”

Rethink—Rethinking how you handle decision making and delegating will not only pay off in the short-run, but will benefit you for years to come. From Karen Leland’s article “When ‘Decision Fatigue’ Frazzles Your Small Business Brain”, Leland offers some tips from Layne Kertamus, president of, who says that top performers understand the nature of decision-making and respect it, including: Not making decisions that are beyond your competence. Recognizing that a decision to punt is in fact a decision and may have costs, and understanding that most decisions are neither good nor bad but carry with them tradeoffs. More great tidbits on decision making lie in Leland’s article.

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