Sales professionals are often expected to work long hours, making it challenging to maintain a healthy work-life balance.
Now that many people are in a permanent hybrid or fully remote work environment where they’re constantly juggling personal and professional responsibilities, it’s even harder to maintain that balance.
So, how can we decrease the amount of stress that comes with such a heavy workload?
There isn’t a perfect equation for work-life balance because it’s highly personal. But, taking a holistic approach to your day and prioritizing your physical, mental, and emotional well-being is a great place to start.
Here are a few tips to help you achieve a better balance:
1. Make Time for Yourself Outside of Work
Dedicate at least an hour each day to doing something that you enjoy, such as reading, exercising, or spending time with friends and family.
One way to make time for yourself is to schedule it into your week. Whether it’s an hour on Tuesday nights to play video games or go for a walk, put it in your calendar and make it a priority.
Another tactic is to reclaim your time outside of work. If you can find an extra hour in the morning or evening, use it to do something you enjoy. Even taking 30 minutes for yourself to read or write before bed can make a world of difference.
2. Set Boundaries with Your Work
As a best practice, you should always let your team know what your availability is and stick to it. But taking that one step further, you should also respect your own boundaries.
- Set hard start and end times for work. When possible, try to stick to a regular schedule. This will help you to create a healthy balance between work and the rest of your life.
- Make sure you take breaks. It’s important to step away from your work periodically, even if it’s just for a few minutes. Strategically scheduled breaks will allow you to recharge and come back to your work with fresh energy.
- Don’t be afraid to say no. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s okay to say no to new projects or anything additional being added to your plate. Be transparent with your manager and team that you are at capacity.
- Delegate or outsource. No matter how well we prioritize, there will always be moments when the workload is overwhelming. Look to your colleagues for support. See if there’s anything you can delegate to others. Freeing up even 30 minutes out of your day can make a huge difference.
3. Don’t Take Work Home with You
For most of us, this is easier said than done. But one of the best ways to lead a balanced life is to be fully present. When you’re not at work, try to put it out of your mind as much as possible. That will leave space for you to enjoy your personal time and avoid getting burned out.
Bringing work home with you can make it harder to relax and enjoy your time outside of work. It can also lead to burnout, as you’re effectively working all the time.
When you do find yourself working outside of your normal office hours, try setting strict limits on how much you’ll allow yourself to do. For example, you might only allow yourself to work for one hour in the evening. Once that hour is up, you’ll stop working and focus on relaxing.
If you work in a hybrid or remote setting, create a dedicated office space in your home. This will help to solidify the boundary between your work life and your personal life.
4. Find a Hobby or Activity that Relaxes You
Whether this is a weekly yoga class or learning a new language, having a go-to activity will help you to de-stress and avoid burnout.
The important thing is the activity relaxes you and is exciting to look forward to. Try new things until you find something that feels right for you, and don’t be afraid to mix it up!
When your hobby starts to feel like work, it’s probably time for a change.
5. Seek Out Support from Others
When you’re feeling overwhelmed or are struggling to find your ideal work-life balance, lean on your support system. Talking through your stressors or concerns with someone else can give you a new perspective and strategy for moving forward.
If you are stressed about your workload or deadlines, talk to your manager and colleagues. Chances are, they are or have been in a similar situation! They may be able to offer you guidance for prioritizing tasks or helpful suggestions for managing your workload.
You can also talk to a friend or family member about it. Sometimes just talking through your stressors to a trusted source can alleviate some of the tension.
Sales is a notoriously demanding profession. Between hitting quota, hitting OKRs, and working toward career goals, it can be difficult to avoid burnout while making time for yourself.
The good news is that if we are dedicated to keeping ourselves aware of the workload and prioritizing our well-being, finding the right work-life balance is achievable.
Emma is a gardener, bookkeeper, writer, and mother of three. She is spending her time mostly in her garden. When she is not there, you will find her working on developing her own line of homemade natural skin care products.