As a real estate professional, you’re likely firing on all cylinders. You’re working nights and weekends, spending countless hours running from one property to the next. Often, it seems “downtime” is a thing of the past. But downtime is essential for Realtors. The burnout rate is high in this career field, and it’s no wonder why. Here’s why you need to schedule downtime in your calendar.
Why You Should Schedule Downtime in Your Calendar This Week
1. Prevent Professional Burnout
Real estate professionals have some of the highest rates of professional burnout in America. Demanding schedules, time away from family and friends, long hours, and high stress are just a few reasons real estate agents find themselves throwing in the towel.
Symptoms of burnout include lack of motivation, a sense of dread when thinking about work, feeling cynical, and trouble with sleeping or eating habits. Burnout can wreak havoc not only on your career but also on your physical and mental health.
But scheduling downtime can alleviate many burnout symptoms. Unplugging from professional duties – even for a brief time – allows both your body and your mind to reset, unwind, and relax. And that can have significant benefits on your health and your career.
2. Increase Productivity
It seems counterintuitive that time away from work makes us more productive. Americans are caught up in what one researcher calls “the busy trap.” We’re obsessed with being busy. It’s almost seen as a badge of honor: who can work the most hours, fill up their calendars the most, and sleep the least.
But 16-hour workdays aren’t effective, says writer Sara Robinson. In fact, they’re just the opposite.
Fifty- and 60-hour workweeks actually decrease productivity, Robinson says. Studies prove that worker effectiveness decreases after about 45 hours a week. Therefore, employees who are more rested and have a better work-life balance get more done in eight hours than overworked employees complete in 12.
With that in mind, scheduled downtime might make you better at your job.
3. Generate New Ideas
While it may feel like you’re getting nothing done during downtime, your brain is doing the most work when you’re silent.
Our brains rejuvenate during downtime. Our minds, like every other part of our body, need periods of rest to function at their best. When we schedule downtime, free of all electronics and outside distractions, we’re allowing our brains to do some serious inner work.
Need some fresh new marketing tips? Want to find a solution to a problem at work or home? Need inspiration? Downtime may be the answer. When we give our brains time to slow down, we often come up with new ideas and solutions.
Some of the world’s most successful people intentionally carve out time to just sit and think. Who knows? Perhaps your future success depends on your ability to slow down and disconnect.
4. Reconnect with the People Who Matter Most
Even extreme professional success can’t make up for broken interpersonal relationships. Humans are designed to be in social community with one another. When we fail to nurture our relationships with family, friends, and partners, our contentment decreases.
Many studies find an undeniable link between interpersonal relationships and happiness. Those who have strong professional and personal connections with others often report feeling more fulfilled, both in their work and their lives.
You can nurture the relationships in your life – and make room for new interactions – by intentionally scheduling downtime into your calendar. Spend this time having a meal with old friends, participating in an activity with a romantic partner, or chatting with friends from work.
Technology-free, face-to-face communication will create a greater sense of fulfillment and contentment in your life. And when you feel happier on a personal level, you’ll find more joy in your career, too.
5. Find Balance
All work and no play isn’t good for anyone. Scheduling time away from work will help you find a healthy work-life balance, leading to greater overall happiness. You’ll be able to cultivate personal relationships, pursue your passions and hobbies, and take control of your physical and mental health.
Learning to balance a successful real estate career, a growing family, interpersonal relationships, community service, and other obligations can be challenging. Scheduling time away from work – time to focus intentionally on other areas of importance – is a great first step toward achieving balance.
Do you schedule downtime into your calendar each week? Has it made a difference in the way you view your work? Let us know in the comments!