The lazy hazy days of August are almost upon us. Whether the perfect summer day is engulfing yourself in a romance novel from the hammock, sharing an epic day of extreme sports with adventure buddies or toiling away completing that dock or shed DYI project, summertime is special and it will be gone in a blink of an eye.
What if you could indulge in your greatest pleasures and at the same time, keep your business on the rails and set yourself up for a productive fall? I hear from many REALTORS® about the tension between enjoying summertime with friends and family and the guilt of not maintaining their business. This guilt prevents them from fully enjoying themselves while at the same time, even though they aren’t doing any productive work – mostly they are worrying about what they “should” be doing.
Don’t “should” your summer away.
The real estate market slows down significantly in August in almost all major markets. (Resort towns like Whistler are exceptions). It doesn’t turn off so if you decide you want to make some money in August – go for it. So many agents have tuned out that there are plenty of opportunities to get deals done. If on the other hand, you want to tune out to really relax and restore, without guilt, read on.
Guilt is a complex emotion that typically leads to anxiety. Freud told us that it resides under the surface veneer of our behaviour. As professional, top performing REALTORS®, we have a strong work ethic that leads us to work relentlessly to find clients and to serve those clients at the highest possible level. When we try to step back and relax, this major behavioural change leads to feelings of guilt often accompanied by anxiety. Anxiety can have the stifling effect of avoidance and procrastination. You feel that you should be doing more work and you may begin to worry about your future, financial security, real estate disruption or any one of dozens of other illusions. It’s your brain trying to protect you by getting you to stop relaxing and get back to doing the productive work of real estate and it happens even when there is no real threat.
To relieve this guilt, you need to let your brain know, in no uncertain terms that you want, need and deserve to relax. This means believing it at a deep level. I’ve written for years about the need for top-level REALTORS® to be in a healthy emotional place if they want to be excellent at serving their clients. I know that it is essential for success and if you can really believe this to be true, you are well on your way to enjoying guilt-free days off.
The second thing to relieve guilt is to be sure to do the work that you have a responsibility for. If you tell someone you’ll get them information, be sure to deliver. If you are committed to having a great fall and you’ve promised yourself that you will have a social media campaign ready to go for Labour Day or that you have committed to having 8 conversations each week with people in your social sphere, then build a system that ensures that these things happen.
For me, I book my must do work in the early mornings three days a week. Once I’ve met those responsibilities, the rest of the time is mine to do as I please. I often work more but if I want to go climb a mountain or paddle a river, I’m free to do that without a trace of guilt.
So – give yourself permission to enjoy the dog days of summer. Recognize that downtime makes you a better REALTOR® and figure out what your minimum responsibilities are and fully commit to meeting them.