What is burn out? Burn out is exactly that- burned out. Like a wick that has exhausted itself, the flame dies often leaving the shell of the candle.
How it happens to you: as you enter the office on Monday morning, you’re excited to begin the new week. You have new marketing ideas, lists of existing marketing efforts to check and tweak, you’re set in your priorities. Having stopped for a Starbucks and being well rested, you’re amped up for a full day- it’s time to hit those goals.
As you enter the office, and set your things down on your desk, up chimes Sally about how roughly her weekend went- a lost client and then this morning a canceled listing. That’s really too bad for Sally, she’s had a horrible last couple of months. You reassure Sally that she’s going to be fine, but in your mind you know that Sally may not make it.
As you log on to your computer to check your emails, you find a few negatives yourself, nothing you cannot handle, but this time you’ve lost the first hour of your day to Sally and dealing with small fires of your own. You begin to check the RSS reader to see what’s new from the weekend and you find nothing but negative nellies in markets all around the country, bickering over observations and opinions and how the real estate world has stopped spinning- the market is a mess.
Nearly noon now, you’ve lost all focus on what you had set out to accomplish today. For some reason you’re spun, and you’re feeling the need to leave the office- it seems all the energy you left the house with is gone.
Welcome to burn out
Many times I’ve been exactly where I just described, it’s human and natural. But the biggest part of beating burn out is in how long it takes you to recognize it. Knowing immediately that your enviornment is getting you down allows you to change your enviornment. Sometimes it has nothing to do with the office, it could be the gloomy weather, the piles of snow outside of your door that keeps you from getting from point A to point B, but even here, there are solutions.
Here are a few solutions
- Avoid negative Sallys.
- Team up with like minded thinkers in your office.
- Never let weak players play on your team.
- If you’re stuck in the house- take a shower, get dressed, and put on your professional face.
- Create a success first thing. Complete two or three tasks first thing.
- Turn off the RSS feeders for a few days until your goals are reached.
- Create marketing tasks that return quick results. Looking too far into the future can leave you exhausted.
- Get control over something, even if it is organizing and cleaning your home office.
- … Stay at Starbucks. A laptop in a happy place where you can exchange smiles and positive feelings can keep you humming. Who says you have to sit at a desk to be a Millionaire Agent?
The facts about me
I’ve never subscribed to motivational books, speakers, or anything of the sort. I’m a logical and analytical thinker and often rely on my understanding and knowledge of myself and successes I’ve had. But that’s me. I realize that not everyone has such a handle on how they’re feeling to make quick changes before they’ve fallen too far down the slope of gloom. So I hope these common sense reminders help you or someone you know.
Oh yeah, the right advice to give Sally? Advise Sally to take a few days off- get away. This will not only free the office of a negative burden, but might give your Sally a chance to put together a plan of her own.
Originally published March 24, 2008.