Five tips for REALTORS® to successfully juggle work and life

The life of a REALTOR® is more like that of a juggler: constantly trying to keep several balls in the air at the same time. And, no matter how much you’re juggling, it can seem like you’re not allowed to shift your focus for even a minute for fear of dropping something and watching those proverbial balls crash to the ground. Not to mention, with the pace of our world continuing to pick up speed, it’s almost inevitable you’ll burn out if you don’t find separation between work and life.

I have to admit, I still believe this idea of work-life balance is like a unicorn. I would love to believe it’s true, but at the end of the day, it’s more mindset than reality.

Nonetheless here are five things I have adopted as a REALTOR® to keep my sanity and ensure at the end of the day my clients, family and friends continue to speak to me (ha!):

1) Create boundaries

It’s easy to work 24/7 in this business. Try and create work hours and time during the day where you can step away and recharge. For some people (me!) it may mean putting your smartphone on silent after 10 p.m. For others, it could be not working on Sundays.  Whatever you decide, make sure to stick to your guns. It’s very easy to decide “just this one time” you’ll change your structure but… just like that, the walls can come crashing down.

2) Build a support system

You can’t go through life alone. Find likeminded people (possibly from different fields) who you can bounce ideas off of, be held accountable to and who can become your very own cheerleaders. And naturally, I can’t speak enough to mentors: someone who has navigated this business and came out on the other side successfully (mine’s the best – thanks, mom).

3) Take a break

Burnout is real. Even if it’s just to go for a walk for 15 minutes or an hour without your smartphone, taking time to step away and take a deep breath is important for both mind and body. A vacation can also be a nice reward following an overly-demanding period. But when you finally take that vacation, make sure to really enjoy it. Find a trusted colleague who can handle your business and focus on recharging.

4) Hobbies

Your life shouldn’t revolve around your work. It’s one thing to love what you do, but when it starts to consume you that’s when it becomes can become overwhelming. Find something completely unrelated that invigorates you and helps you reset your mind. For me, it’s running and I’m currently training for a marathon. I love nothing more than grabbing my running shoes, putting in my ear buds and listening to a great podcast. I don’t answer my smartphone, I have time to think, be in the moment and I always come back feeling better than when I left.

5) Give yourself grace

Most of us in this business have Type A personalities and want everything we execute to be perfect. There are days when I think I’m killing it: the kids are happy, eating great meals; I’m closing a deal and listing a home and have been a great wife and friend. Then, in the blink of an eye, I can find myself struggling to keep all those proverbial balls in the air and start feeling down on myself. The most important thing to always remember is we’re human. As long as we learn from the day’s events and move on, we can always start over.

Since the age of seven, Jennifer Aunger-Ritchie dreamed of being a REALTOR®. Decades later, Jennifer now lives and works for Royal LePage Advantage Real Estate in the town of Smiths Falls, Ontario. She also sits on the NAR YPN Advisory Board, CREA’s Federal Affairs Committee and is a director with the Rideau St. Lawrence Real Estate Board. A proud mother of three girls, Jennifer loves living the small town lifestyle while also giving back to the profession she loves.

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