3 Tips for Leaving Work at Work when You're in Sales - Movement-Rx

3 Tips For Leaving Work at Work when You’re in Sales

Feeling Burned Out? Can’t Turn off your Work Brain or your Work Phone?

You’re not alone. Working in sales is hard. 

People in sales roles are no stranger to emotional exhaustion, high demands, and late night work: they often come with the job. But when our minds are constantly preoccupied with work and we are unable to mentally disconnect, we may miss important moments of joy or connection with our loved ones.

Over time, if we struggle to break this pattern, burnout can seep in, our performance can suffer, and our relationships can starve.

Below are our Top 3 Tips for healthier work boundaries so you can stay high-performing in the long-run and be more present with your loved ones.

#1 Set Blackout Times

We’ve all been in a situation where a friend or partner checks their phone mid-conversation and loses the thread of what you were saying, or even what they were saying mid-sentence. Our loved ones need not only our time, but our presence and our attention. It IS possible to work extended hours AND be present for our friends and family by using blackout times. This could be as short as 15 minutes or 20 minutes at the breakfast or dinner table where we direct our attention entirely to our loved ones and to the present, leaving our work thoughts, notifications, and ringers until a predetermined time afterward. Most family and friends would rather have you THERE (mentally present) for a short time rather than HALF-there (distracted) for a long time.

#2 Protect your sleep time like you protect your trade secrets

WHY: One of the most important mental performance enhancers is also the one that we tend to ignore the most: sleep. Allowing work to interrupt your sleep time is one of the most detrimental decisions you can make in your career. Team leaders who sleep better are actually  ranked as more effective by their direct-reports than leaders who don’t get enough sleep.

For sales, good sleep improves our ability to empathize and connect with others, and one study even suggested that salespeople who get over 7 hours of sleep displayed more “grit,” likely because they have a deeper pool that they can dig into when needed (versus having nothing in the tank). Good sleep also improves daytime focus and productivity, so you can be more effective and leave work at work.

HOW: Designate blackout hours during the times that you want to be winding down for sleep or sleeping. Use the settings on your phone to silence notifications, and enforce a “no work” policy if you need to keep your phone near your bed. Wait to open work emails until you’re physically at your workstation or until after your morning beverage.

#3 Create a ‘Transition’ between work and home environments

If you’re somebody who can literally leave work in the office (i.e. your computer and work phone stay there), but work still mentally follows you home, consider adding a mini-transition in your workplace parking lot or in your driveway to settle your mind and mark your change to home mode.

This could look like a 5-minute timer where you focus on your breathing, or it could even be a short driving meditation, to feel refreshed after your commute instead of exhausted.

If you’re working from home, where work boundaries get extra blurry, try closing your eyes and breathing for 15 seconds before transitioning between work and home.

Alternatively, create a visual boundary by closing your computer tabs or shutting your laptop to signal that you’re shifting your thoughts away from work for a while.

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