Burnout is a real thing. In fact, many sales people are experiencing it right now. You know how it goes…you wake up in the morning and you are already tired before you get out of bed. The thought of dealing with customers sucks the life out of you…even though you are making good money!
As I said, burnout is a real thing. Here’s the good news: you can do something about it. Here are five tips every sales pro should implement to avoid or combat burnout.
- Don’t check email first thing in the morning – As I study the habits of people who are in burnout, I notice that checking one’s email is a horrible habit to start your day with. Here’s why…Your email is usually filled with everyone else’s emergencies for you to handle. This causes you to have stress at the start of your day. Bad plan.
Instead, I recommend having a slow start. Give yourself time to get in to your day. One specific activity to do is:
- Be Grateful – Be grateful?? But Ryan, this job is driving me nuts!! I get it, but if you’re in sales, you are in the best profession in the world. Seriously. Where else can you enjoy new experiences every day, meet tons of new people, help change lives and basically write your own check in the process?
Let’s be grateful for the opportunity we have a hold of. Selling is a noble profession and you are fortunate to hold your position.
In addition to being thankful for being in sales, a great way to start the day is to think of ten things you are grateful for in your life. This is especially important to do when you wake up in a bad mood.
- Breathe – I know this sounds lame. You are probably thinking, “I breathe all day.” Yeah…but do you breathe deeply. Most people are shallow breathers. They only fill the upper third of their lungs before exhaling. If you want to avoid burnout then that means reducing stress. Deep breathing is essential to stress relief. Practice taking 10 deep breaths at least three times per day to start.
- Take every thought captive – Part of burnout has to do with how you perceive the activity going on around you. If you aren’t careful, your own thinking could be your demise. You see, when things are hectic it is extremely easy for people to have severely negative internal conversations. In other words, they have what Zig Ziglar called “Stinkin’ Thinkin’.”
It’s not that you won’t have negative thoughts. It’s what you do with them when they happen. By taking every thought captive, I am suggesting you determine if the thought you are having will negatively or positively affect you. If it’s negative, either toss it out or reframe it. For example, if I think, “Man, my boss is being a major jerk!” I would pause and reframe that to a thought that serves both me and my boss. Perhaps it is, “Man, my boss is under a lot of pressure and I bet he’s going through a tough time.”
You see, you get to determine if you accept a thought or reject it. One thought leads to burnout while the other leads to empathy and empowerment.
- Get organized – Have you ever watched the show Hoarders? I can’t watch it. Seriously, it stresses me out. Of course, the mental and psychological aspects are heartbreaking, but the disorganization alone causes me anxiety. That being said, I notice that when people are feeling out of control (disorganized), that’s a sign of burnout.
The obvious solution here is to get organized. Here are a few areas that when organized, alleviate burnout.
- Your desk – A cluttered desk = a cluttered brain. Take some time and clean your desk
- Your calendar – If you feel everyone is pulling at your time, you are not in control of your life and that definitely can lead to burnout. I encourage you to block out time for relaxation, exercise, date nights, etc.
- Your car – I know as sales people we often “live in our cars”. But that doesn’t mean it needs to be a mess. Get your car professionally cleaned.
- Your home – If you can afford it, I recommend help in this area. Too many people work hard at their jobs and then fight with their spouse about cleaning the house. Just hire it out and be done with it.
- Your customers – I could do a whole blog in this one. You have to be proactive with updating current customers and following up with potential customers. That means an organized CRM or contact management system.
There you have it, five tips to help you avoid, or combat, burnout. If you have additional thoughts that have worked for you, I would love to hear them. Feel free to shoot me an email at email@example.com.