When Olympians Usain Bolt and Sanya Richards-Ross each won gold in their events this past summer, they did so by literally running full out. Their minds and bodies remained fully engaged up to and even past the finish line. Imagine if they went about this differently, instead taking time towards the end of the race to acknowledge their supporters or wave to their fans. In such a competitive sport that is won or lost by hundredths of a second, the gold would have gone to someone whose head was more into the event.

The race to finish the business year often goes well until we get to December, when the holidays kick in and distractions become the rule of the day. Add on top of this the common excuse of not having enough time to sell because of delivering gifts to clients, and it’s no wonder that many companies have lackluster finishes, results less than could have been achieved, and weak starts to the following year.

Yes, taking time off during the holidays is an absolute must, as families and friends must take center stage. Also, delivering gifts to customers is smart business, but there is no rule that this must usurp having a stellar month of productivity. December should be no different than any other month of the year, with core work still getting done while scheduling around vacations and holiday client visits. By planning now how you’ll handle these demands you’ll have your most productive Q4 yet, with a solid foundation to build upon in the new year.

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