Have you made a New Year’s resolution to spend more quality family time? Jet Xavier shares some practical tips for giving 100 per cent in both your work and family life using practical examples from some of today’s successful agents.
Many parents in real estate struggle to find the right balance between doing fun things with the kids and working the long hours of real estate. But it can be done.
1. LET GO OF FOMO
One of the biggest impacts of juggling family and work is the guilt parents feel for working too much and not spending enough time with family. One mum said, “The hardest part by far would be wanting to be a mum and have a career. I often feel guilty being away from my baby when I feel like I should be the one raising him every day.”
There is also feeling guilty if you are not on call all the time for clients or team members.
One of Australia’s best agents, Marcus Chiminello, said his business changed when he let go of the fear of missing out and guilt associated with not being on call 24/7 and focused on what was important instead, which was self and family.
Nothing good comes out of guilt, so let it go.
2. SET CLEAR BOUNDARIES
On his road to becoming a million-dollar agent, Nick Papas suffered burnout. Nick said he had no boundaries and was always pushing himself, and in reality wasn’t enjoying life or work. He was always saying ‘yes’ to everybody else and ‘no’ to himself and his family.
To recover he started to set clear, non-negotiable boundaries; he learnt to say ‘no’ and become self-focused. As he said, “If I’m not OK, then everybody and everything else in my life is not OK”.
Part of setting work/family boundaries is when you are at home, be present. Turn the phone off, don’t look at emails, get off social media and be present with your family. Work can wait. In the end what is really more important – your family or your job?
Be a person who sets clear boundaries between work and family, and learn to say no!
3. BE ORGANISED
REIQ Property Manager of the Year and single mum Rachael Byrne realised things were wrong when she had her child on her hip, was cooking the dinner and dealing with an angry landlord all at the same time. She ended up taking 12 months out of the industry.
This time around she uses an effective work hours process whereby focusing on power hours of productivity help her maximise her time; she also has structured hours for work and home, and makes clients aware of when she is available. As Rachael says, “It’s no point stressing yourself trying to work at home with kids and then stressing about not being with your kids whilst at work”.
Be a parent who is highly structured and create routines that support you.
4. BE REALISTIC
Parents set unrealistic expectations and place unneeded pressure on themselves to be the perfect parent and career person. A mum commented, “I was working 60 to 70 hours per week, seven days a week. I’ve finally realised life balance [having] almost missed out on my kids’ lives… I am no longer stressing about what others are doing and what unrealistic expectations I believe were put on me.”
A parent with eight kids summed up how to deal with unrealistic expectations in family and work perfectly. “It requires communication, and unless it’s life and death roll with the punches. Everything is negotiable; you can’t be everything to everybody and it’s OK not to keep on top of everything. It’s all right with things at times just being OK but not perfect.”
Be realistic about what’s achievable with work and family.
5. CREATE FLEXIBILITY
Many parents are now working with their employers to create flexible work hours and work-from-home scenarios.
This director put it best. “I have six children and found it difficult to juggle work and kids, mainly because of my employers not having any understanding or empathy. Now that I have my own business all my employees are paid full time but work around kids. I find they are so much more productive and happy to do things at home.
You don’t have to be an absolute workaholic; you can still be totally productive and enjoy family time.”
So look for ways to try and create flexibility for you and family at work.
And finally, understand that you make the choices in your life and business. As a mum with four kids says, “It’s as easy or as hard as you make it”.