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Employee Care Series #1: What is “Insurance Burnout” & How to Quench It

We all know that insurance is certainly not for the weak! In every job or role you have, burn out can happen and, when it does, it can have several negative impacts. You may not be as nice to your team, your family, or yourself. I am a firm believer in “what you know in advance, you can prepare for in advance.” So let’s take a few moments to share the signs of insurance burnout and what we can all do about it. 

Sign #1 Someone Offers You a Snickers

You know those Snickers commercials where the person isn’t acting themselves because they are hangry? Well, burnout and hanger can have many of the same symptoms. It’s a good time to check if you need food or a break. This is when you might be a bit short with the team or when it just seems like everything is frustrating. Trust me, this state of mind is not good for you or your agency. 

Sign #2 You’re Not Focused

This is when you make mistakes or double-check your work. Your brain is in a fog and you are too. The smallest, most basic of tasks takes you longer to complete and you find yourself staring at your screen a lot. You were once sharp and had a strong plan, but now the day is just happening to you and not in a great way.

Sign #3 You Become Apathetic to Time

This is probably one of the biggest warning signs I see. You start feeling like, “Well, it just won’t ever all get done, so why bother?” You believe there is not enough time in the day, so you do a good job, but you just fall short of doing a great job. You become a B- student, which isn’t bad, but let’s face it – it’s not you. 

Sign #4 You Want to Use the Word “No” More

Maybe your agency is working on some cool new projects or you have the opportunity to jump into new responsibilities. In your mind, you just can’t fathom one more thing. Where you were once excited, you’re now barely able to crack a smile. Great news! This is burnout.

If you’re thinking, “Ohhh no. I have all of these.” Well, it’s time to fashion a plan to beat insurance burnout and get back up and on your feet. You and your team deserve better!

This may sound cheesy, but it works: Start with remembering what you are grateful for. It’s super simple to get bogged down with what isn’t working. So, let’s start with what is! If you love your family, you like your desk, or there is a carrier that is strong, let’s refocus on the positive. It’s amazing what a little perspective can do!

Next, determine what is temporary and what is permanent. Remember with temporary strife, the tides will turn and it will pass. With more permanent issues, you may have to spend some time creating a strategy of how to turn some things around in your career. Identifying what bucket something falls into allows you to spend your time on what matters. 

Use your vacation time for relaxation. We see far too often in insurance that we burn our vacation time when we aren’t really sick or on items that don’t help us recharge our batteries. It’s ok to use your time off to rest and recharge. We all need a mental break from time to time. See also our latest podcast on how to better plan for vacations, so that everyone (even those manning their posts while their coworkers are on vacay) can avoid being overwhelmed.

Finally, at work, really focus on having a great attitude and getting through your work. A great deal of burnout happens because we are behind in our work and not able to keep up. We have a saying: “Work like you are about to go on vacation.” This is a great approach! When you go on vacation, your desk is clean and you set yourself up for success. Practice getting caught up, even without a vacation. 

Conclusion

Burnout is a real thing and if you aren’t feeling like yourself, make sure you go see a doctor. Often times, burnout can impact many parts of our lives unintentionally. 

If you’re an agency owner and you’re thinking that you may have a burnout epidemic on your hands at your agency, let us help you and your team! Talk to us about our Performance Training, and other tools, with which we can partner with you and your team to get everyone back on track!

 

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