In today’s mortgage market—or really any mortgage market—managing your work-life balance is critical. Mortgage loan officer burnout is real, and it can have long-term negative effects on both your health and your business.
If you’re seeing some warning signs of burnout, there are plenty of things you can do to stay healthy, even with the busy schedule of a loan originator. Here are some ideas for caring for your emotional and physical health while balancing everyday life, a family, and a successful business.
1. Consider Hiring a Support Team.
Don’t underestimate the value of supportive team members to help avoid burnout at work. Trying to do everything yourself is a recipe for mental and physical exhaustion—and it will eventually catch up with you.
It’s a mistake to feel guilty about needing extra help in a difficult mortgage market. After all, as a mortgage loan officer, the secret to increasing your volume and serving more customers is having a strong team behind you.
Here’s how we suggest going about getting people to support you:
- Identify your needs. Start by determining what you love doing most in your business, what takes the most time, and what your least favorite activities are. Identify your workflows and think about which team member could take on those tasks—it might be an existing person, or you may need to hire. Defining what you’re already doing will make it easier to know how to redistribute your team.
- Prioritize your needs. Which tasks are having the greatest negative impact on your physical and mental health? This will help you decide what your biggest needs are and where to focus delegating. Ask yourself what will free up most of your time and make the biggest difference to your clients, and then work on that area first.
- Define the job requirements. If you’re hiring, write a job description with well-defined expectations. Outline the responsibilities this person will have day-to-day. If you’re delegating tasks to an existing member of your mortgage team, those should also be in writing for everyone’s benefit.
Read more about building a strong mortgage team in this blog post. Having an incredible team behind you can go a long way toward helping you avoid burnout.
2. Make Time for Yourself and Your Health.
It can be really challenging to prioritize time for yourself every single day, especially if you’ve been working around the clock. Very frequently, your physical and mental health are the first things to be neglected because they don’t have a deadline. But not meeting your own needs is a guaranteed way to start seeing the warning signs of mortgage loan officer burnout.
Prioritize enjoying time just for yourself. Maybe get up earlier to exercise, get outside for a few minutes during your lunch break, or clock out earlier than normal to take a quick walk before dinner. Little breaks can help you clear your busy mind and improve your energy levels.
3. Create a Schedule.
Not having a schedule sometimes means that work creeps into every aspect of your life. Be deliberate about what a healthy work-life balance looks like for you, and get it down on paper.
Here are several things to think about as you create a schedule to help you avoid burnout:
- What are your regular work hours?
- What is your family’s schedule, and when do you need to be focusing on them?
- When is your personal time to take care of yourself?
- What is your hard stop time every day?
- When do you need to be in bed to ensure that you get enough sleep?
Knowing when you’ll be working and when you’ll be doing other things keeps you from feeling like you’re hustling 24/7. It’ll also keep you focused and effective at each thing that you’re doing, making your time go further.
4. Set Healthy Boundaries.
Many others feel overwhelmed and are struggling with implementing a healthy work-life balance. So people aren’t likely to be surprised or offended when you set limits on your time.
If possible, organize your work schedule around times when your clients need you the most. Also inform clients about when they can contact you, what method is best, and when you’ll see their messages if you’re not in the office.
Your team also needs to be aware of when you’re working and when they can expect you to return their messages. Definitely let your support team know how you’d like them to get in touch with you if there’s an emergency when you’re not working.
Don’t forget to set some boundaries with yourself as well. Here are some ideas:
- Build in breaks. Don’t try to power through a long day without interruption. Give yourself opportunities for stress relief throughout the day, and be sure to take a decent lunch break. Walking outside is a great way to ward off symptoms of burnout.
- Set actual physical work boundaries. If you sometimes work from home, create a dedicated workspace, or your entire house will become your office. This can lead to burnout because you begin to feel like you’re always at work.
- Take your vacation days seriously. When you can, unplug from the office completely, whether it’s a vacation or just a relaxing weekend.
5. Give Yourself Some Flexibility
As a mortgage officer, there is always one more thing you could do. To avoid burnout, set realistic expectations for yourself and do your best to meet them—but also treat yourself with kindness.
Remember that even if you have a difficult day and don’t accomplish everything you intend, tomorrow is another opportunity. Pay attention to the days that go well and those that don’t so you can make improvements going forward.
Planning to Avoid Workplace Burnout
A little planning can go a long way toward preventing mortgage loan officer burnout. If you’re already experiencing burnout and are feeling overwhelmed about finding the time even to do some planning, remember the benefits if offers. You can successfully navigate the challenges of this demanding field while maintaining both your health and your effectiveness.