Maintaining A Healthy Work-Life Balance Is Necessary

Are you finding it harder to pull yourself away from work these days? In a recent Harvard study, 94% of professional workers reported working more than 50 hours per week, and nearly half said they worked more than 65 hours. Staying connected to technology and social media means that it is easier than ever to access work, and more difficult to get away from it. One minute you might be eating dinner at the table, and the next you find yourself taking business calls or texts. This has become the new normal. While it may seem like maintaining a healthy work-life balance is nearly impossible, it is extremely important for your health, your relationships, and your productivity. 

character with "customer" underneath it and with words of service, quality, efficiency, and reliability around it.
Having a good work-life balance will help you build stronger relationships with customers, which will help your business excel.

Build Stronger Relationships

If you’re always working and stuck to a screen, then your personal relationships will take a hit. The same goes for your professional relationships. Focusing solely on work at the expense of building fulfilling relationships with both loved ones and customers is unhealthy for you, and might actually end up hurting your professional life in the long run. Customers crave intimate connection and want to know that you truly care about them. If they feel that they are just another number to you, and that you are trying to check them off your list to get to the next prospect, then you will end up losing sales.

Better Health

Being stressed and overworked can cause a multitude of health problems. Studies show that stress is linked to depression, respiratory issues, heart problems, and stroke. A study conducted by UCL of more than 10,000 participants revealed that white-collar workers who worked 3 or more hours longer than required had a 60% higher risk of heart-related problems than those who didn’t work overtime.

illustration of man sitting in front of a laptop with a timer behind him and data analysis

Less Burnout & More Productivity

We all want to be the best at what we do. But if this desire leads you to take on too much, you might end up feeling overwhelmed and burnt out, and that’s a recipe for failure. Burnout can cause mood swings, irritability, and a decrease in productivity, leaving you unable to keep up with the constant demands on your time. 

You may feel like you need to put in endless extra hours at work in order to be at your most productive. You may get more done but, in the end, you’ll be sacrificing quality for quantity.

In order to actually become more productive, you have to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Some ways to do this include:

  • Keeping your priorities straight– There are only so many hours in a day. Keep work at work, and try to not bring it home.
  • Getting enough sleep– You need at least 7 hours of sleep so you don’t overextend yourself.
  • Pacing yourself– Keep the saying  “think of life as a marathon not a sprint” in your mind and apply it to your professional life, as well. You cannot become successful overnight. Take your time and build relationships so you don’t lose sales by being pushy or insensitive.

    caucasian woman's hands holding a cell phone in one hand while sitting in front of a laptop
    To become more efficient, practice time management to get work done by using an app such as focus tracker.
  • Focus on time management- Use your time efficiently, especially if you work from home. Take advantage of an app that features time tracking. It will help you realize how much time your daily tasks take, and allow you to spot unnecessary or overly time-consuming activities. Toggl analyzes how much time you spend on tasks, while other apps like Focus Keeper use the Pomodoro Technique to enhance your focus.

One major way you can create more time for yourself is by using exclusive leads, so that you aren’t spending all of your time competing for clients. When you work with Benepath, we find all of the prospects for you, and deliver them to you, giving you more time to build trust and convert your leads into sales. We manage 100% of our own marketing to generate exclusive leads, so there’s no need to compete with other agents, and less time wasted on uninterested prospects. 

Maintaining a healthy work-life balance can be tough, especially when you want to be successful and meet all of your goals. But do not lose track of how important having a full, well-rounded life is, because if you do, both your professional and personal life could end up suffering.

How to Maximize Your Productivity

As an agent, time management skills have a direct impact on your performance and sales. It goes unsaid that they are necessary to excel in your industry. However, even though everyone has the same amount of hours in a day, some people are able to accomplish so much more than others. Wondering how to maximize your productivity like some others do?

Perfectly organized planners and spreadsheets could explain smoothly handling a flood of tasks. But there are other solutions for the rest of us to navigate a variety of commitments and optimize our time effortlessly.

We have an answer to this dilemma – in a career where missing deadlines is not an option, the Covey time management grid is guaranteed to help you to manage your available time more efficiently.

Covey’s 4 Quadrant Theory offers a simple format to organize your tasks. Covey, an American keynote speaker and author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People , uses four quadrants that allow you to prioritize tasks in relation to their importance and urgency. This helps you to decide whether you need to address a task immediately or if you can postpone it.

Responsibilities are grouped into four categories: Important, Urgent, Not Important, and Not Urgent.

Quadrant I – Urgent and Important

In this section, we find tasks that have skipped out of the non-urgent category and have a significant time sensitivity associated with their completion. Urgent responsibilities require immediate attention. These activities are often tightly linked to the accomplishment of someone else’s goal. Not dealing with these issues will cause immediate consequences. While careful planning can help avoid tasks entering this quadrant, tasks will pop up or increase in urgency to land themselves here.

The real skill is to commit time to processes that enable you to work on tasks more quickly and with ease. It also ensures that they get done more efficiently.

Examples: Crises, deadline-driven work, medical/other emergencies, last-minute preparations.

Quadrant II – Not Urgent but Important

Covey’s time management system proposes creating time to focus on important tasks before they become urgent. Quadrant II activities are not urgent, but they are important.

These tasks are your long-term strategies and goals.  Staying on top of these in a consistent manner will ensure that you are always one step ahead of where you need to be.  This prevents you from ending up in Quadrant I on a frequent basis.

In addition, there are important activities that fall in this category including relationship building and recreation. We often read about organizing our professional lives, but personal lives need to be weighed into the equation as well. To avoid burnout, we need to focus on ourselves, family and friends as part of the equation rather than an afterthought, and Covey realizes this as part of his structure.

Examples: Preparation and planning, relationship-building, exercise, nutrition, and regular doctor checkups to prevent urgent health emergencies.

Quadrant III – Urgent but Not Important

The third quadrant is reserved for tasks that are urgent, without being important. Covey recommends minimizing or even eliminating these tasks as they do not contribute to your output. Delegation is also an option here. At best, these are distractions with high urgency.

Tasks that land in this quadrant often come from sources that regard the task as urgent and important (Quadrant I).  Because of emotion, they fail to delineate between the two. When approached with tasks in this quadrant, it is best to delegate, as previously stated, but do so in a way to subside the crisis-level emotion and guide the task into its true “not-important” category.

Examples: Emails, calls, meeting other people’s priorities instead of completing one’s own tasks.

Quadrant IV – Not Urgent and Not Important

The fourth and last quadrant focuses on tasks and responsibilities that do not yield any value—items that are unimportant and not urgent. These time wasters should be eliminated in designated work time as they have little to no value. However, this quadrant can be used as a reward.

While you want to remain out of this quadrant while trying to drive results, some tasks in this quadrant do have there time and place. An effective use of your time would help you operate in this quadrant by choice rather than venturing into it as part of a by-product of aimlessly wandering through your day.

Examples: Busywork, mindlessly watching tv, scrolling through social media, procrastinating important responsibilities.

How Does This Apply To My Career?

If you’re like most people, you probably spend most of your time on activities that either fall into Quadrant 1 or Quadrant 3 because they’re urgent. And, as an insurance agent, you cannot afford to be scrambling to complete a never-ending list of urgent tasks because they weren’t addressed when they fell into the second quadrant – important, but not urgent.

You must manage promoting and selling insurance products and services to your customers above all. But you also have to balance doing your own research on the plans so you can give sound financial advisory services and customer support to your clients. Marketing strategies must be drawn and redrawn from time to time, keeping in mind your customers’ preferences.

If you sell a variety of insurances, such as health, life, commercial, or medicare – you must complete these objectives for each vertical. Long story short, you have your work cut out for you. But through implementing this model, your load will become significantly less daunting.

Are you busy or productive?

While you might think being busy must mean you are being productive, you would be wrong. There is difference between being busy and being productive.

The greatest difference between busy work and productive work, is passion. If you have passion and drive for your job then you will find that you are productive. On the other hand, busy work will often feel like tasks that you have to do, not want to do. Often busy work is what keeps you from being productive. We have all been there, checking emails every ten minutes, getting ready to start working, filing and editing. Such behaviors is also known as procrastinating.

To avoid procrastination it helpful to reevaluate your time spent at work. Identity the areas of your time that need improvement, and then take practical steps to shift from being a busy person to a productive one.

Time management is an important quality for productive people. Take the steps to identify what is distracting you. Focus on results and not multitasking. In the case of insurance sales, focus on the sales and conversion numbers. Focus on obtaining leads and schedule your goals. If your goal is to gain 10 new clients in a week, implement a plan.

If you love what you do and take pride in growing your agency, changing your work habits should come with ease.

Three habits for successful agents

Some of the best insurance agents will tell you that having habits or routines regarding your process of selling insurance enables your chances of success. Insurance agents all have days where they would rather have stayed at home than face the seemingly uphill battle of selling policies to reluctant people. Sure, it can be overwhelming, but it does not have to be. Here is a list of simple and effective habits for any agent to use.

1. Effective agents stay hungry

Having a sense of urgency around you can motivate you to never give up. Never look back at unachieved goals with regret. Rather take from them and learn from your mistakes.

2. Be available

Time management is key. Be available to your clients on their time not yours. Simply returning phone calls or emails will make you stand out. Embrace the digital age, and spend time each day in developing your online marketing presence.

3. Genuinely want to help your clients

Stay authentic when selling insurance. Your success depends on the quality and reputation of your brand. Build relationships with your clients and always do what is in the best interest for them.

These habits are just a few of many behaviors and practices of the most successful agents. Taking the time to implement these habits into your daily routine, should prove to be helpful in establishing yourself as an effective agent.

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