Industry News

Tough Times: Routine Mainenance

We’ve all been through tough times before. Here are some reminders of how to survive and succeed:

  • Stay focused.  You are a professional.  Call up all of your innate and acquired skills and take inventory.  Any rust?  Clean it, polish it up, get yourself together, and go to work.
  • Be confident.  You provide valuable service and advice to those that need it.  Never be ashamed of being in the financial services industry.  Sure, there are some bad apples in the barrel, but your policyholders and clients know that you’re not one of them.
  • Stay current.  Read the trades.  Know the basic ebb and flow of the economy.  Get up a little earlier to get the news of the day.  Sign up for Internet bulletins and updates.  You can’t analyze and be an expert at everything, but you can at least be aware of the daily landscape.
  • Review goals.  Make adjustments, if necessary.  Stay the course, but revise unrealistic objectives and numbers if you find them discouraging.  It’s your life.  Push yourself out of your comfort zone, but don’t beat yourself up.
  • Be educated.  Pick a professional designation to acquire, sign up for the coursework, and add some capital letters to your business card.  You can never know too much and your people will admire your dedication to the profession.
  • Accept interruptions.  Stop letting them cause you to be resentful or angry.  If necessary, create DND (do not disturb) time to concentrate on tasks that only you can do and stick to it.  If your workload is way too much to complete in a day, accept that and create a temporary schedule that includes an evening or two and maybe part of a Saturday to get caught up without interruptions.
  • Learn how to relax.  I was going to just write the word “relax”, but most of us are not very good at knowing how to do that.  Breathe deeply – at least three times a day for two minutes.  Walk 30 minutes a day.  Go to bed one hour earlier than usual.  Schedule breaks away from your desk.  Never drive more than two hours continuously.  Leave early for appointments to avoid the stress of a traffic jam.  If possible, take at least half of your lunch break to lay down somewhere quiet and think about something other than business.  Be discriminating about what you have to do and what you can delegate or postpone.  Get to work on time – go home on time.  The sun will come up tomorrow.

Remember that even machines have to be turned off and serviced occasionally.  You’re much more complex than a machine.  Take care of yourself!

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