One of the challenges that everyone has faced is feeling drained at the end of their workday. Of course, some jobs are more prone to stress than others. According to a survey conducted in 2019, 71% of financial advisors described their stress levels as moderate to high. Those same advisors also said their stress levels are increasing each year. This contributes to the very high burnout rate in our industry.
So how can an advisor stay happy and energized for their work?
There are a few tactics that are proven to increase a person’s energy levels. Here are some of the most effective techniques psychologists have discovered.
Plan Your Day by Results Not Task Type
Studies have shown (Fritz et al 2011) that scheduling tasks according to result type increases both energy and efficiency. Segment your tasks by what they are designed to accomplish—this is different from grouping them by task type (like opening and responding to emails). Some common result types for financial advisors are client acquisition, improved client communication, strategy development, continuing education, office/team optimization, and professional network building.
Let’s illustrate how this could work. You may choose to schedule two hours for tasks that result in better client communication. So during that time you would only open and respond to emails from clients, not emails from other sources. You would make client phone calls, put together your newsletter, or send updates, and comforting messages to clients. That time would be for focusing all your attention only on tasks that result in better client communication.
Planning your day in this way allows you to spend more time in a state of flow—that feeling of being at the top of your game when time just flies by. You will also find that your creativity will explode. The studies show that at the end of each time period, you will find that your overall energy has increased.
Reflect On What’s Important
Regularly reminding yourself of why you’re doing your job provides a great boost to energy. Stick to the big picture rather than short-term landmarks (Schipper & Hogenes 2011). For example, rather than think about making money for your next family vacation, think about the cumulative effect your family vacations could have in the long term. Thinking about the feeling you will gain by having a close relationship with your family and having a lifetime of shared memories is a better motivator than thinking about a destination, then let that feeling carry you through the rest of your day.
Another reason you do what you do is the satisfaction of knowing you have helped your clients. This is an area where Elements® can help you find that focus. By making the financial information-gathering process more streamlined and efficient, you are free to spend meeting time talking about their goals and aspirations—like having a secure retirement, being able to experience great things, or living in their dream home. Thinking about how your work will help the Smiths finally take their dream trip to Europe, which is more meaningful than just focusing on cold numbers.
Physical Fitness and Activity
Our body’s condition has a huge impact on our mental and emotional state. Being deliberate about nutrition and physical activity is key to being mentally and emotionally energized. As much as possible, avoid processed foods and foods that are high in sugar to enjoy more consistent energy levels throughout the day.
Be sure to schedule time to exercise each day. Experts recommend that we exercise for a period that equals 10% of the time we spend working. So, if you plan on working 40 hours a week, you should exercise for 4 hours each week. It’s best to spread that time across the week, doing a little each day (Fritz & Spreitzer 2011).
Have you noticed that some people always seem to be upbeat and energetic? You may have also noticed that those people are generally kind to others. Those traits go together because being kind actually boosts energy. On the other hand, being narcissistic and selfish causes energy drain. Making an effort to be agreeable and kind to others is a great way to boost your energy.
There are stresses that are inherent to being a financial advisor, but those stresses don’t have to lead to burnout. You can protect yourself from burnout by conserving and boosting your energy during the day. Hopefully, the tips provided in this article will help you do it.
If you have other techniques to boost energy that you would like to share, please comment below.
Fritz, C., Lam, C. F., & Spreitzer, G. M. (2011). It’s the Little Things That Matter: An Examination of Knowledge Workers’ Energy Management. Academy of Management Perspectives, 25(3), 28–39. https://doi.org/10.5465/amp.25.3.zol28
Osterland, A. (2019) CNBC, FA Playbook, https://www.cnbc.com/2019/05/22/financial-advisors-are-more-stressed-out-than-their-clients-study.html
Schippers, M. C., & Hogenes, R. (2011). Energy Management of People in Organizations: A Review and Research Agenda. Journal of Business & Psychology, 26(2), 193–203. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10869-011-9217-6