More and more, we hear that the key to job satisfaction is work-life balance. And according to statistics, this seems to be true. Professionals who choose to intentionally balance their work and personal lives in a healthy way seem to be happier in both realms. Especially in the modern workforce, achieving this balance isn’t always easy. It’s all too common for people to overwork themselves and become burnt out as a result. Since LOs often have a less traditional schedule, with after-hours client support, weekend open houses, and other commitments, it’s natural that work-life boundaries can become easily blurred. That said, here are a few ways you can reset those boundaries to strike a better work-life balance:
Optimize your productivity at work
The best way to ensure that you can separate your work and home time is to be as productive as possible during work hours. Prioritize your time and make the most of those hours so that when you leave work at the end of the day, you can leave work at work. I recommend coming up with a few methods that work for you to help promote productivity. One great time-management tool to consider is a clear schedule, perhaps with a tangible planner or a mobile app to keep you on track. I’d also recommend working to eliminate distractions in your workplace as much as possible, whether this means organizing your desk or even setting clear boundaries with coworkers. Employing automation tools can help you use your time at work more efficiently as well. If it makes sense, delegating and outsourcing certain tasks can also help ramp up your productivity and efficiency.
Schedule your days
Maintaining an organized schedule isn’t just important for remaining productive at work, but it’s also a tool to hold yourself accountable for your non-work activities as well. Professionals with strong time-management skills tend to find that scheduling everything in their day keeps them more balanced. This means not only scheduling meetings with a client, but also scheduling an afternoon coffee break with a friend, for example. By keep both personal and professional committments, you give them equal value in terms of where you direct your time. The more you can create a tangible agenda of everything you intend to do in a day, the better you can establish the work-life boundaries that ensure your happiness.
Establish healthy boundaries
A successful work-life balance usually requires clear boundaries. I recommend creating habits that help you separate your work time from your home and leisure time. This can be as simple as associating your use of time with your location. When you’re in the office, it’s work time, and when you’re at home, it’s no longer work time. This approach isn’t always entirely feasible for loan officers whose customer service and credibility depend on having flexible contact hours. For this, I recommend setting general after-hours for clients earlier in the evening. You can still provide a means for them to contact you for emergencies and establish it as an urgent contact number to make the boundary more clear. This allows you to be more present when you’re at home, while still providing the exceptional flexibility and customer service that clients want.
Take mental breaks
This might go without saying, but having a work-life balance means taking breaks from work. When you’re at work, make sure to set some time aside for an occasional mental break where you can leave the office and clear your mind. Take a lunch break where you’re not working and multitasking. Try to prioritize time after work to decompress and give yourself a mental break, letting your “work brain” shut off. It helps to even unplug from technology a bit at home. This might mean silencing your phone or simply resisting checking work emails after a certain time each night. Vacation time is one of the most important tools to give yourself the mental break you need and invest in a healthy work-life balance. Try to resist working during your vacations and breaks. This boundary is an investment in your sanity and can help you return to work with a clear, focused mind.
While it’s easy to get wrapped up in your mortgage business and think you’ve got to be “on” at all times, it turns out that the most successful loan officers create healthy work-life balances. In order to be the best resource for clients, you need to invest in yourself first. Only then can you possibly offer the necessary amount of energy and passion to help your business thrive.