Being a successful financial manager is hard work, and the stresses of building a business, maintaining client relationships, and hitting your goals never really go away. Managing stress levels, however, is key for financial advisors if you want to continue to perform well and help your clients make the best decisions.
Stress can be a useful thing in small amounts. It can help you focus and motivate you toward your goals. The problem occurs when you remain stressed for weeks or months at a time. This can lead to burnout, decreased productivity, and related health problems.
If you’re feeling stressed on the job, you’re not alone. Many financial advisors feel your pain, and they’ve developed quite a few strategies to deal with spiking stress levels. Here are five of the most effective ones.
Stay Focused on You: Focus on your personal performance. There is no point in comparing yourself to others. Remind yourself what you have achieved and how far you have come. Try and take an objective look at yourself and your business. If you feel unable to do that, then you might consider hiring an outsider to offer an objective view of you and your business. This could help you see where you are doing well, and add focus to how you might improve.
Have a Plan: You’re in the business of making plans for others, but in the process, you might forget to plan for yourself. Planning can offer structure, clarity, and a sense of direction. Set goals for yourself in writing. This will allow you to feel more involved and focused on your work and give you benchmarks for measuring your progress.
Set Work Boundaries: If you tend towards workaholism, that means that you work incessantly. But if you are stressed with work, and you work all of the time, that means that you’re losing balance. Are you checking emails during dinner? Answering phone calls in the middle of family activities? Fretting over client concerns when you’re playing at the park with your kids? Without balance, the cracks will soon begin to show as you feel the strain on your relationships outside of work.
At some point, working all of the time stops being productive. Make a point to track how your time is being spent and make needed adjustments. Put your phone on focus or airplane mode when you can. Make time to be away from technological distractions, and set limits on your work communication. It’s OK to let clients know that you will answer calls and emails during certain windows of time–especially if you communicate these parameters at the beginning of the relationship..
Although it might seem counterintuitive, you’ll actually be more productive when you keep your work at work. Otherwise, you are on the road to burnout. Keeping a healthy separation between work and home life promotes personal well-being. It will also help you be more productive, innovative, and resilient in the workplace.
Take Care of Your Health: Stress can be the cause of a number of short and long-term health issues. It can lead to poor sleeping and eating habits. It also takes time away from relaxation and hobbies. Make the effort to get a good night’s rest. Ensure that you eat well, and avoid destructive eating and drinking habits. Take up an exercise of your choice and be consistent with it. Learn meditation and other physical and mental strategies for coping with stress. Spend some time doing activities that you enjoy. Although you may be busy with work, you only get one body and one mind. Prioritize your care.
Have a Support System Outside of Work: Although it is important to maintain good work relationships and to have people on your team to talk to, it is also important to have a social network that is not related to your work. A social network may include various family members, friends, or other people who enjoy the same hobbies that you do.
This network not only gives you time to focus on new activities and people that you enjoy being with but it also helps you create multiple dimensions to your life. Your work associates will appreciate you for what you offer professionally. Your family and friends can appreciate you for a whole array of personal qualities outside of work. This builds your identity as a balanced individual.
Remember that you are not alone! If needed, find someone in your line of business such as a mentor or life coach to help you gain perspective. Depending on your needs, a life coach or a mental health professional can help you master various stress management techniques to elevate your quality of life.
We would worry if you weren’t feeling any stress in your financial management career. Stress is normal and natural as long as you’re keeping it in check. If not, it can take a negative toll on your work, decision-making, health, and relationships–both at work and at home.
As a thought leader in the multifamily investing space and top coach for financial advisors, I am intimately familiar with the stresses you face on a daily basis. I’m here to help you know how to market and network as a financial advisor without letting your business take over your life. Contact me to learn more.