Advisor burnout: how to get more done when you just can’t stop
With the massive implications of COVID-19 about to come to bear with EOFY approaching, advisor burnout is on the cards.
Tax time for 2020 will be more onerous, more complex and it’s wise to assume that your workload will be rather towering.
People may be using your services for the first time due to the complexity of 2020. Even if they are old clients, there will be instant asset write off implications, government tax concessions, PAYG complexities intertwined with JobKeeper and a large cohort of people working from home for the first time.
With the weight of this on your shoulders and the high importance of getting it right, there will likely be a tight band of stress pressing down on your temples.
We know you can’t just stop working for your clients, so what are some strategies you can deploy to ensure you are functioning optimally and taking care of your wellbeing. You can’t assist clients properly if you are burnt out.
Signs you are burning out
Oftentimes it’s hard to look at yourself and make an assessment of your wellbeing. Introspection doesn’t come easily and you can easily miss the telltale signs you are wearing thin.
Symptoms of burnout to look out for:
- minor ailments such as stomachaches and headaches
- increased cynicism
- overly emotional
- unusual lack of motivation
- reduced creativity
- pre-work dread
- becoming jaded and alienated
If you have developed these symptoms of late, you are likely burning out and in need of some TLC to get your head back in the game.
Prioritise and plan your day in advance
Waking up with no map to navigate your day is a recipe for disaster. Give yourself the best chance of beating burnout by reducing morning stress and getting your head in the game straight away.
Even if you are a calendar averse person, to really achieve efficiency – not just the feeling of efficiency – you need to pay attention to your routine.
Break your worklife into important pieces. Plot it out and prioritise certain clients and tasks. They are not equal and should be treated as such.
Completing EOFY tasks or lending advice to an important client will take precedence over answering emails and fielding questions.
Try killing of small but necessary tasks early in the day. Then move on to true money earning priorities.
To assist this, ensure your distractions are minimal. Burn out can easily creep in if your headspace is bouncing from an email, to a social ‘ping’, to a colleague and then back to work once more.
‘What was I doing again?’ Exactly.
If you schedule uninterrupted focused time, you will be amazed at what you can achieve in a small timeframe. Now you can relax a little, knowing you have knocked an important task over.
Sleep is essential to defeating burnout
This is likely the most important factor in avoiding burnout and ensuring you are firing on all cylinders. Good sleep hygiene is like steroids for your work ability.
If you take away nothing else from this article, remember the unassailable importance of proper sleep.
We have known for decades that good quality and good length sleep improves cognition, reduces stress, improves health, boosts creativity, wards off illness and aids problem solving.
With recent research, it is now seen as imperative to get over 7 hours at the very least to remain competent and healthy with 7-9 hours marking the ideal. Some of you might think you are immune and need less sleep. You are not.
“Every key facet required for business success will fail when sleep becomes short within an organisation.” – Matthew Walker, professor of neuroscience and psychology at the University of California.
You wouldn’t run your business drunk – but you are likely doing something worse when you sleep less than 7 hours a night.
As a hot tip – try to set an alarm when you should be sleeping not just when you should awake. It will work wonders.
Your body is your temple. And your office.
Your mind is an extension of your body and your body needs your help. After sleep, nutrition and exercise are the most important part of your routine to ensure you are actually performing at peak efficiency without dead time and wasted energy.
“Diet, exercise and sleep have the potential to alter our brain health and mental function,” says Fernando Gómez-Pinilla, a UCLA professor of neurosurgery and physiological science.
Do you view diet and exercise as an integral part of your business life though? Do you rank it up there with your primary roles? Most importantly, have you scheduled it into your routine?