Burnout Is Real…Here's How to Avoid It

BY Jessica Helinski
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The most successful and happy sales reps take care of their prospects, their clients, and their teams. And, they also take care of themselves. Workplace burnout is real, and due to the high pressure in sales, salespeople are very much at risk. “Work is now the second most common cause of stress in the U.S.; in fact, a significant 39 percent of adults experience stress related to work,” reports Kent Holland in an article or Business2Community. “Often, it’s those highly involved in their work life and committed to performing well who feel it most, one out of every five workers is both highly engaged and at high risk of burnout.”

Whether you feel burned out or not, switching to healthier habits is a great way to safeguard yourself mentally and physically. Holland shares ways to avoid pushing yourself too far:

Commit to disconnecting. 

The technology of today makes it pretty tough to completely step away from it all. Email, smartphones and social media make sure that you can always be connected; it’s up to you to decide not to be. Make a point to differentiate your personal and professional lives. Create boundaries by restricting work-​related technology use outside of the office (even if it’s just for an hour or two). Use your vacation days. Enjoy that dinner with your family. Stepping away for a bit will allow you to move forward. 

Schedule a reasonable day.

You aren’t doing yourself any favors in the long run by packing each workday full of high-​pressure tasks. “…it’s important to design a manageable schedule for yourself each day,” he explains. Start off by estimating the time you’ll spend on each task, scheduling short breaks throughout the day, and placing your calendar and to-​do list in a visible place so you can continuously reference it.” Be aware of which tasks require more energy and intersperse them with less-​intense to-dos. 

These are just two of the suggestions Holland shares, and he encourages reps to be mindful about how they are feeling, and to take those feelings seriously. “In our always-​on workforce, it’s hard to put away our phones and our to-​do lists, but the business of selling is a marathon, not a sprint,” he writes. “Pacing ourselves and managing our priorities are key to making sure we can stay healthy in the race for the long-run.”