Build Your Work Around Your Life, Not the Other Way Around
When I was building my real estate career, I went super hard at it. Working 70-80 hours per week, always keeping my phone on, answering calls late at night, being available for showings on the weekends. The American culture teaches us to be proud of working hard. The “First in the office, last out of the office” attitude is encouraged and rewarded. Being available for last minute showings was necessary because of the cut-throat nature of the business.
And this approach definitely brought me results, money and recognition. It also brought me anxiety, stress and burnout. Late night unhealthy snacks to soothe my spinning mind, neglecting friends because I had no time nor energy to connect with them, missing out on family gatherings because there was always an apartment to show. My priorities were all twisted and I would end up moody, dissatisfied, constantly lacking sleep, putting on weight, all the while pretending that everything was fine.
But in the long run, of course it wasn’t fine. I was cracking. I was so dissatisfied in the life that I have built because I didn’t nourish my true needs and I kept ignoring all the warning signs that the engine was overheating. It took me a bit to figure out that the quality of my life mattered infinitely more than being successful at selling apartments. Even more so, I define success differently these days. Yes, discipline is crucial and money is important. You should strive to be your best self and to be well compensated for the value that you provide. But even more important is your time with yourself, your rest, your relaxation, your friendships, your play time, your spiritual growth, your sleep and whatever else you need to feel good.
When you’re always checking emails, always being available for last minute showings, that takes a toll. You keep putting yourself second or third or last. Now that I coach instead of show apartments, I have sessions that are scheduled in advance, so I know exactly when I am available and when I am not. I limit the number of clients that I work with one on one weekly. I am working on a platform that will allow me to serve multiple clients at the same time, so that I can provide support to many while honoring my work-play-rest balance. I work from home, ruthless about keeping my routine and fitting the work into my life, rather than fitting my life into my work. My to do list includes things such as “spend time in the nature”, “meditate” and “dance”.
I start the day with a 1 hr meditation routine and follow it with another half hour of a gratitude practice and that sets my day up for tremendous success. Then I eat a healthy breakfast. I don’t start coaching nor look at my emails until I finish my morning routine, but when I do, I am fully invested into what I'm doing. There's time allotted daily or weekly for friends, dancing, working out. Nurturing your soul with what you need and filling yourself up before you start giving away is absolutely crucial. It’s amazing how much more productive I am living this way. And so much happier.
Let me know if you need any tips about how to make yourself a priority and increase the quality of your life!