How often do you get home from a long day at work, sit down to relax, and truly don’t think about work until the next morning? If you’re an insurance agent, the answer is probably not very often. As with many high-pressure jobs, when you’re an insurance agent, you must deal with a fast-paced work environment where much of the work on your plate lives rent-free in your head.
On one hand, this focus on your work can be a positive thing. It means the work you need to complete is always top of mind, so it’s easy to work from anywhere. You’ve been meaning to email Bob and you might think about this in the evening after eating dinner… no problem. You can just fire off an email from the comfort of your couch. With the small computers everyone carries around in their pockets (smart phones) these days, it’s more tempting than ever to try to get some work tasks done during your “free time.”
But this temptation and ability to always be “on” can certainly have a dark and stressful side. Since your work will inevitably begin to intrude into your after-hours life. You might feel anxiety and pressure even when your workday is complete. It might even become difficult to separate your personal time from your work life. This can start to take its toll. You might not even notice until you’ve completely lost sight of your work-life balance.
So while it’s great to be highly motivated when it comes to your career. It’s just as – or even more – important to have a good home life, and free time that helps you feel refreshed. In order to accomplish this, you must not only be present and in the moment in both environments. But you must also make sure that each is kept separate from one another.
Most people know that cultivating a good work-life balance is a healthy thing to do. But we get it: actually, making it happen is another story. To help insurance agents find that perfect balance between their work life and personal life, we’ve put together a guide. Complete with tips to follow on a daily basis. Adapting these tips to fit your life and adding them to your daily routine will help you not only have a better home life, but also make you a more effective agent.
1.Set Strict Office Hours
A crucial part of keeping your work and personal life separate is setting office hours, and sticking to them. When you leave or clock out for the day, that means you are done until tomorrow. No if, ands, or buts. Sticking to this will allow you to be completely present when outside of work. Whether you’re spending time with your partner, children, friends, or pets, or engaging in your hobbies.
While it might sound counterintuitive to work less, sticking to business hours will increase your productivity as an agent, since it will allow you to be more focused when it’s time to work.
2.Use Time Blocks
Besides setting strict office hours, there is another strategy that can help you effectively manage your time so you can finish your work and get back to your life: setting time blocks. Time blocks are simply allocated periods of time that you dedicate to specific tasks. They are really just a way of keeping yourself focused on one task (or set of tasks) at a time. But they can also function as a way to tell others that you will be busy working on that task at that specific time. In fact, you might want to add these work blocks in your company calendar so that they are set in stone. And so others will know that you aren’t available during these blocks of time.
The key to this practice is to block out periods of time when you are the most productive for the most strenuous work. This might mean dedicating the morning to your most important projects, if you are a morning person. And one important thing to note about creating these blocks is to be realistic about the specific amounts of time you give yourself for each task. It’s always better to give yourself a little more time than to underestimate how long something will take.
Though it may be tempting to try to use time blocks in your personal life to be more organized, most people agree that this is not the best practice. Your personal life is supposed to be just that…personal. And that means relaxing and enjoying your free time. If you utilize time blocks at home, it may make your personal time feel like a to-do list. Instead of something separate from, and more fulfilling than, work.
3.Make Technology Your Friend
To make the most of your time in the office, use technology to your advantage. The right technology, used in the right way, can really help you to, as the saying goes, work smarter, not harder, and keep you from spending your free time catching up on work.
This could mean using such lifesaving innovations as:
- Customer relationship management systems (CRMs)
- Appointment scheduling software
- Expense trackers
- Customer service chatbots
- Social media automation software
If you take advantage of these types of technology, you will be able to use the time that you previously spent manually doing these tasks to do work that needs more attention or personalization. Or simply to get done with work quicker and get back to your life!
4.Cherish Your Personal Relationships
When it comes to your loved ones (partner, children, extended family, friends etc.) it’s important that you make sure that they feel loved and valued by you. Working as an insurance agent can be stressful. And it’s easy to forget about the other people in your life if you’re too engulfed in your work. For that reason, it’s important to set aside quality time to talk and relax with your loved ones. Make sure that you are genuine in the time you spend with them. And that you take that time to ask them how they are doing.
It’s also important that you make sure to do things that the other person enjoys, and not solely things that you like. Though this sounds simple. If you put it into practice, it will make your time at home more enjoyable and will help you maintain healthy relationships.
But if you do have a difficult time being present at home. You might want to try some dedicated device/screen-free time each day. Try putting your phones away, turning off the tv, and just focusing on the relationship at hand for at least an hour or two a day. Whether it’s at dinnertime, or in the evening. You might find yourself connecting in whole new ways, once you disconnect from all your devices!
To keep yourself at your best at both work and at home, you should have some sort of self-care routine that allows you to focus on your physical and mental wellbeing. This part of life often gets neglected if you’re busy at work and at home. But it’s vital that you take at least a little bit of time to care for yourself.
Some examples of self-care include:
- Moving your body in some way, whether it’s working out, playing a sport, or just dancing with your kids!
- Getting enough sleep
- Eating healthy foods, like fruit, veggies, whole grains, and lean protein
- Reading for enjoyment
- Taking time by yourself to recharge
If you can’t set aside time every day to focus on self-care, start off with 3 days a week for one hour. Then slowly increase your time. This time will not only allow you to treat yourself in a healthy way. But it will also give you a break from the stressors of life and allow you to clear your mind and reflect.
Learning to balance your work life and personal life is a process. Even if you incorporate all the tips we talked about. It may take some time to find that state of equilibrium. As an insurance agent, you have a competitive and fast-paced job, so it can be easy to accidentally carry some of that workload home with you.
But by paying attention to what’s on the day’s docket ahead of time, organizing your time with set office hours and time blocks, and utilizing technology when you can, you’ll be able to get more done in a less stressful manner. And when at home, remember that it’s important to value the time you have with your family and loved ones. Pay attention to their needs, and never forget about self-care.
Being able to hone in on your tasks while at work, but also disconnect from that work after leaving the office, will allow you to have a more fulfilling life. Finding the perfect balance isn’t easy, but it will pay off in the long run.
If you want to learn more helpful agent-focused tips, or increase your sales with our insurance leads, visit us at Benepath.net. We offer data leads and inbound phone calls, all of which are 100% exclusive and delivered in real-time. We work with a variety of insurance products, generating leads for: individual health, group health, Medicare, life and commercial insurance. Learn more by filling out a form on our website or giving us a call at 888-684-3121.