5 Signs of Burnout and How Busy Agents Can Get Relief
The hot housing market has certainly been lucrative for agents this year. But it’s also been challenging — painstaking, even.
The long hours, the busy weekends, and constantly being on call (sometimes to dozens of clients) can really take its toll, especially after months and months with no break.
Are you feeling overwhelmed by the demands of today’s fast-moving market? You may be burning out.
Here are five signs of burnout to watch for — and how to fight back.
Agents, watch for these signs of burnout.
Burnout can be a real problem with agents. Not only can it mean less job satisfaction and a poor work-life balance, but it could also trickle into other areas of life, making you more irritable with your family or even lead to anxiety or depression.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to address burnout and get your career back on track. To do that, though, you first need to know the signs of burnout — and be able to recognize them. Here’s what to look out for:
- You’re less passionate than you once were. If things that used to make you feel happy, excited, or proud are no longer doing the trick, you could be burning out.
- You procrastinate. Putting off tasks or even just dawdling when leaving for work in the morning are certainly signs you may be burning out on your career.
- You’re not as proactive. Skipping the newsletters and networking events this week? Not too concerned with marketing? Pulling back on activities that further your career is a clear-cut sign of burnout.
- You’re phoning it in. Just going through the motions and getting the bare minimum done? You’re probably burning out.
- You dread heading to work or meeting new clients. Feelings of dread are an obvious sign your heart’s no longer in it. Take steps to address your burnout ASAP.
If you’re questioning whether you’re getting burned out, you probably are. You can also talk to your loved ones about the issue. Have they noticed any changes in your attitude toward work lately? Your family members may be the first people to recognize the signs.
How to fight back against burnout.
Recognizing you’re burning out is the first major step. After that, it’s time to make some changes.
If you think you’re showing signs of burnout, follow these tips:
Determine the root cause of your burnout.
Sit down and really think about your work. Are there aspects of it that are particularly daunting to you? Are there areas you feel especially out of control in? Try to identify two to three elements of concern — things that are really driving your burnout. This will allow you to be more cognizant of them — as well as better address them moving forward.
Establish new boundaries.
Now that you know what’s driving your burnout, you can set some much-needed boundaries.
- Tired of the late-night and early-morning calls and texts from clients? Set up office hours and be clear about them from the outset of your career.
- Bothered by the pay? Scale back on the services your commission includes and pivot toward more experienced homebuyers.
- Annoyed by your coworkers? Ask your broker if you can go fully remote.
The more honest you are about what’s causing your burnout, the better you can address it with clearly defined, strategically placed boundaries.
Take technology breaks.
Our constant connectedness makes for an easy road to burnout. The constant barrage of texts, email alerts, and phone calls can leave anyone feeling stressed and overwhelmed — let alone an agent dealing with the red-hot market we’re seeing today.
To stave off the burnout, schedule yourself technology breaks — times completely away from all technology, including your phone, inbox, computer, and even your watch if it has Wi-Fi capabilities. You’ll be surprised at the difference a few “quiet” hours a day can make on your mental and emotional health.
Implement better scheduling.
Pull out your calendar and really analyze your habits. What time are you getting up? What time are you calling it quits? When are you taking breaks and lunches? If it varies from day to day or there’s no rhyme or reason, it’s time for a change.
In order to avoid burnout, you need reliable segments of “off” time — 15 minutes in the morning for a cup of coffee and reading the news, 30 minutes midday to eat lunch or take a walk, etc. It doesn’t matter what it is, but it needs to be schedule, set aside, and a set-in-stone part of your day.
Spot signs of burnout? Hope is not lost
If you’re seeing signs of burnout, don’t fret just yet. Talk to your broker and colleagues, take a good hard look at your schedule, and start setting better boundaries. As long as you’re cognizant of the issue and keep it in mind in your work moving forward, you should be able to course-correct before it gets worse.