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Happy National Cat Herders Day!

Today we are so excited to celebrate National Cat Herders Day! Okay, maybe “excited” isn’t the right word, because let’s face it, “herding cats” means tackling a task, problem or job that seems nearly impossible. It seems appropriate that this day falls smack in the middle of December. When gifts, vacation and spending time with family and friends are right around the corner, it’s nearly impossible to stay focused on the daily work grind.

Here are a few ways to beat all of those holiday distractions and stay focused.

1. Practice mindfulness

Meditation is a powerful tool. In fact, many CEOs are taking to meditation to achieve business goals and become better leaders. Take a few minutes out of the day to pause. Perhaps at your desk—allowing yourself to look away from the computer and focus on your breath—or even when you eat your lunch—thinking about the taste and texture of each bite. It’s remarkable what you’ll notice when you practice being present.

2. Write it down

At Red Fan, we are huge proponents of lists and taking notes by hand. A savvy app like Evernote works in the same way if you prefer to be paperless.

When you have gift shopping, meal prepping and holiday decorating on your mind, it’s easy to pop open a new tab on your browser and start searching for this season’s “best gifts for dad” or adult cocoa recipe. Make a list at the beginning of each day noting what’s on your mind that you need to do after work hours. Keep your list handy—if your mind starts to wander (first, go back to number one) jot down what you need so you don’t forget.

3. Learn to say no

Saying “no” is important. Not only saying “no” to others—but also saying no to yourself. Many driven go-getters have inevitably fallen victim to the Yes Man syndrome at least once in their careers. During the holidays it’s easy to feel guilty for not making every holiday party, seeing every friend or buying a gift for everyone at the office. Choose carefully what you commit to. Your time is precious and valuable.

May your days be merry, bright and distraction-free this holiday season.

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