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Victoria Munro of Make-it-FlyToo Much on Your Plate?
Ten Tips to Help You Cope
By Victoria Munro

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During the holidays, it’s easy to overindulge—there are lots of opportunities to load up our plates with scrumptious holiday fare. For an entrepreneur with a business to run, balancing the additional demands of family and holiday events can prove overwhelming. In both instances, the results of too much on your plate can be harmful.

Wearing the many hats of a small-business owner is tough at the best of times. When your business starts to really take off, perhaps before the needed cash is flowing to hire the right help, it can be even more challenging. Add to that some holiday stress, and the pressures skyrocket. You can find yourself caught in a relentless cycle—finishing each day with a longer “to-do” list than when you started in the morning.

Use the following tips to help keep your health and sanity, stay energized and focused, and enjoy this holiday season.

1. Focus on the Big Picture
Develop a daily habit of taking time, even a few minutes, to reflect on your ultimate goal for your life and your business. Plan your day with this in mind.
2. Take Control of Your Day with a To-Do List
Create meaningful daily to-do lists based on your weekly plan. At the end of each day, review your accomplishments, congratulate yourself on achievements and discover what you can learn from tasks that were scheduled but not accomplished.
3. Live by Priorities
Be crystal clear about the tasks you want to accomplish each day. Ruthlessly prioritize these and then complete them in order, resisting any temptation to skip over or postpone the tough ones.
4. Set Realistic Expectations
Don’t pack too many projects into a day. Allow flextime for those unexpected phone calls and employee or family interruptions.
5. Look at the Positive
Always aim to see the glass as half full. Turn your attention to things that have gone well.
6. Choose How You’ll Respond
Stress is a normal part of life. We can’t avoid it and we can’t always choose our circumstances, but we can choose how we respond to events. Decide beforehand to stay serene.
7. Don’t Over Commit
Like the tendency to load up your plate with too many holiday goodies, over commitment can make you sick. Determine not to take on more projects than you can comfortably handle.
8. Talk Over Difficult Issues
Discuss your challenges with a trusted friend or board of advisors. This can alleviate stress and clarify your perspective.
9. Take Care of Your Body
You will be far more effective after a good night’s sleep. Also, physical exercise relieves tension.
10. Take Time to Recharge
Taking a break will make you more resistant to stress. Even five-minute breaks to relax, breathe deeply and think about something fun and pleasant can help. Plan time for fun too—laughter is good medicine. Taking time this holiday season to relax and play shouldn’t be considered a luxury.

(502 words)
© 2005-2007 Victoria Munro.

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About the Author: Victoria Munro is co-founder (along with husband Dave Block) of Make-it-Fly® LLC, a company dedicated to creating success for small-business owners through creatively designed programs and tools. Victoria has started and run nine different businesses. To receive FREE business success articles with tips to help you with your business, sign up for their award-winning ezine, “In-Flight Refueling,” at:, and receive a free copy of the eBook, Get More Done in Less Time: 101 Quick and Easy Time Tactics & Tips.

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