Reclaiming a Work-Life Balance
Once upon a time, for most people, there were boundaries separating work life and home life. In today’s title and real estate worlds, however, with competition keener than ever and most of us tethered to our mobile phones, emails and the lure of social media, it’s easy to find ourselves working harder and working more hours than the generations who came before us.
But working longer and harder takes a toll in at least three ways:
- Fatigue – When you’re tired, it’s easy to make mistakes. Your productivity and even your professional reputation may suffer.
- Poor health – Fatigue and stress can worsen any medical condition and even make you physically ill. Turning to meds or other substances for help puts you at risk of abusing them.
- Strained relationships – Spending less at-home time with friends and family, too often missing milestones and special events, can harm your most precious relationships.
Ambition is laudable, but it can get out of hand. If juggling the demands of career and personal life is becoming more and more of a challenge, it may be time to follow the advice of health professionals and find your way back to a more balanced life:
Barbara Pronin is an award-winning writer based in Orange County, Calif. A former news editor with more than 30 years of experience in journalism and corporate communications, she has specialized in real estate topics for over a decade.
- Begin by setting limits—Resolve not to work past a certain hour at least three days a week, or on Sundays. Give yourself enough time to get things done, but stand your ground in managing your time.
- Learn to say no—Most clients will understand a rule not to work on Sundays. Many of the most successful agents set that rule. If you fear your income will take a hit, look for ways to economize at home and don’t take new obligations – like chairmanships and such—out of a false sense of guilt.
- Decide to detach—Change your clothes when you get home. Declare 5 to 7 pm a no-technology zone. Use that time to socialize with friends or spend quality dinner time with family.
- Develop a support system—Share work activities with another agent. Flexible time is one of the most attractive aspects of teaming. Line up some cooking lessons, day trips or volunteer time that you and your loved ones can do together.
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