Whether you are an ‘in­te­gra­tor’ or a ‘seg­menter’, Tom Panos urges all real es­tate worka­holics to avoid burnout by de­vel­op­ing a rhythm that is sus­tain­able in the long term.

Elite Agent - - CONTENTS - TOM PANOS

Tom Panos

AS I WRITE THIS, it is 9:04pm. It’s one of the last things I’m do­ing for the day.

At ap­prox­i­mately 10:30pm, I’ll go to sleep lis­ten­ing to a spir­i­tual pod­cast. My fi­nal thoughts will en­ter my nor­mal nightly rit­ual which I re­peat to my­self: ‘God, this is your shift now. I’m go­ing to sleep.’

At 5am I will be up, work­ing though my nor­mal morn­ing rit­ual of a mind­ful prayer, cof­fee, gym/bay run, fol­lowed by cof­fee again, a to-do list and straight into work all day.

I’m prob­a­bly best de­scribed as an En­gaged Worka­holic, who does not see the need for too much re­cov­ery be­cause my daily rit­u­als and rou­tines set me free.

Why would you need re­cov­ery when you love what you do, you find mean­ing in your vo­ca­tion, and you get in­vig­o­rated and gain much en­joy­ment from your work? I mean, does any­one need re­cov­ery when they’re do­ing some­thing plea­sur­able, like go­ing to the movies or hang­ing out with friends for din­ner?

Yet I clearly re­mem­ber there was a time when I worked a job I dis­liked for 35 hours a week. I needed a whole week­end to re­cover from what I can best de­scribe as a pin­striped prison.

To­day I work six days a week for up to 80 hours a week and, as long as I’m eat­ing well, ex­er­cis­ing, try­ing to get enough sleep, feed­ing my mind pos­i­tive con­tent and hang­ing around op­ti­mistic peo­ple, I don’t fall into the cat­e­gory of ‘need­ing work-life bal­ance’.

Be­fore I move on to giv­ing you some prac­ti­cal ad­vice, you need to es­tab­lish whether you’re a ‘Work-Life Seg­menter’ or a ‘Work-Life In­te­gra­tor’.

I’m more than happy for my work to bleed into my life. I know there are many other peo­ple who need very clear bound­aries; they need to walk into their home, turn their mo­bile off and change their work clothes be­fore they even hug their chil­dren.

I’m per­fectly happy be­ing an In­te­gra­tor, and so are many suc­cess­ful real es­tate agents I’ve in­ter­viewed.

Be­low are seven guide­lines and prac­ti­cal tips that WorkLife In­te­gra­tors still need to im­ple­ment in their life to en­sure they don’t burn out.

1. Learn to say no. Say­ing no buys you more time in your life. 2. No emails from 10pm to 6am. Email man­age­ment at this time is dis­rup­tive to sleep. 3. De­velop morn­ing and evening rit­u­als. For ex­am­ple, morn­ing: grat­i­tude time, ex­er­cise and 10 calls be­fore 10am. Night: three things you were grate­ful for that hap­pened to­day, or a calm­ing ac­tiv­ity such as med­i­ta­tion, prayer, read­ing some­thing spir­i­tual or watch­ing some­thing funny. (I know sci­en­tists say you’re not sup­posed to look at screens be­fore bed­time, but I think laugh­ter more than com­pen­sates for this.) 4. Have your phone on silent when you’re in the flow zone; for ex­am­ple, dur­ing your prospecting time. Don’t give the power to the caller. 5. Work from home. There is enough re­search to sug­gest around 20 per cent more pro­duc­tiv­ity. 6. Set rou­tine habits around sched­ules – a struc­tured week, but not an ideal week that is set up like a prison. 7. Have on­go­ing in­ter­ac­tions with sim­i­lar like-minded agents – for ex­am­ple, the Real Es­tate Gym com­mu­nity.

Fi­nally, let me just say that without a doubt the most crit­i­cal thing for a real es­tate agent to have a long-term, sus­tain­able life, where they’re pas­sion­ate about their work, is to fo­cus on a method and style of work that is sus­tain­able.

The best agents I know have fo­cused on ‘job craft­ing’. They de­signed how and what they do in their job and use a sys­tem or have as­sis­tants to do el­e­ments of the job that they don’t like or are not good at.

Burnout and having a con­stant need of life bal­ance comes when a real es­tate agent uses prospecting meth­ods that they dis­like do­ing, and have no sup­port in low dol­lar-pro­duc­tive ac­tiv­i­ties that are also drain­ing.

When you work a job you despise, it’s called stress. When you work a job you love, it’s called pas­sion.


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