How estate agents can achieve work/life balance

How estate agents can achieve work/life balance

Private Property South Africa
Private Property Reporter

For many estate agents, work takes precedence over everything else in their lives. The desire to succeed professionally can push you to set aside your own well-being. But creating a harmonious work-life balance is essential - for your physical, emotional and mental well-being, as well as your career.

Work-life balance is when you give equal weight to the demands of your career and those of your personal life. The benefits of a good work-life balance include a greater sense of well-being, fewer feelings of stress and depression, with a lower risk of burnout.

But work-life balance isn’t always easy to achieve when your work entails greater responsibilities with longer working hours, along with increased home responsibilities - particularly if you have children. For estate agents, and others who work from home, the boundaries between work and personal life are often blurred. When your office doubles as your dining room table or kitchen counter it’s easy to have personal and work life overlap to an unhealthy degree.

Be flexible

Creating a balance doesn’t mean you need to divide the hours in your day evenly between work and personal life. Instead, the key is a flexible schedule that enables you to get things done in your professional life while still having time and energy to enjoy your personal life. On some days you might work longer hours so as to have time later in the week to enjoy other activities.

Allowing yourself to remain flexible and reassessing your needs on any day are key to finding the right balance for you.

Health is high priority

Your overall physical, emotional and mental health should be a priority, but you don’t have to take part in radical or extreme activities to be fit and healthy. Prioritising your health can be as simple as daily exercise or meditation, and managing your time effectively.

If you have mental or emotional issues, be sure to fit therapy sessions into your schedule, and don't be afraid to take time off if you are ill. Overworking will prevent you from getting better, possibly resulting in having to take more days off in the future.

Take short breaks

Cutting ties with the outside world from time to time allows you to recover from daily stress, creating space for thoughts and ideas outside of work to flower. Having a break can mean going for a short walk or reading a book or a magazine for half an hour instead of checking work emails. Taking the time to unwind will help you feel more energised when you're back on the job.

Holidays

Once or twice a year, it's important to take time off to recharge physically and mentally.

You may be worried that taking time off could mean losing out on potential sales or that you could be met with a backlog of work when you get back from your break. But the benefits of taking a break far outweigh the downside. With proper planning, you can take time away without worrying about burdening your colleagues or contending with a huge workload when you return.

Make time for yourself and your family

While your job is important, it shouldn't be your entire life - because work keeps you busy it doesn't mean you have to neglect personal relationships. You should build in time for the activities that make you happy as well as time for friends and family. One way to do this is to create a calendar for romantic and family dates. This will ensure that you spend quality time with them without feeling guilty about neglecting your career.

Set boundaries and work hours

To avoid burnout it’s important to set boundaries for yourself, colleagues and clients. Many estate agents feel they have to be available to clients around the clock, but this is counterproductive.

Even if you work from home, it is important to decide when you will work and when you will stop working; otherwise, you will find yourself answering work-related emails late at night, during holidays or on weekends off. If you have a dedicated home office, shut the door outside of working hours. If it’s not possible to have a separate computer and cellular phone for work, set up separate browsers, emails or filters for work and personal platforms.

It’s important to discuss the boundaries beyond which you cannot be accessible with your colleagues. This will help to ensure that they understand and respect your limits and expectations.

Structure your day

Structuring your day can increase productivity at work, which can result in more free time to relax outside of work. • Pay attention to when you are most productive at work and block that time off for your most important work-related activities.

• Avoid checking your emails and phone every few minutes, as those are major time-wasting actions that derail your attention and reduce productivity.

• Instead, set aside specific time slots during the day for returning calls and responding to emails.

Because everyone has different life commitments and interests, work-life balance will mean different things to different people. In today’s rushed world, balance is a very personal thing, and only you can decide on a lifestyle that suits you.

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