It’s no secret that those who hold medical sales jobs are constantly pushing themselves for more. More sales for more commission. More quality time with more customers to build more relationships. They need to respond to one more email, make one more phone call, and put more time into their sales reports.
It adds up to a lot of busyness, and the constant “more, more, more” mentality is contributing to the burnout epidemic that plagues professionals in every industry. According to the Deloitte Workplace Burnout Survey, more than three-quarters of the workforce has experienced burnout. More important than the experience are the negative impacts the phenomenon has on work quality and relationships — the staggering numbers prove there’s work to be done.
Medium uncovered the benefits employers are seeing from workplace wellness programs, but medical sales reps need to take it a step further as they work to find a better balance for improved well-being. Here are four tips that you can follow to take your work/life balance from overwhelming and unhealthy to balanced and less busy:
Build on micro-goals
A fun little psychological trick that can give you a new perspective into your daily task list is to build a set of micro-goals, breaking your big projects into smaller more manageable chunks. They’re different than short-term goals — these are actions that can provide immediate closure and be checked-off as “done” in a very short time frame.
When medical sales reps can focus on a small objective, it builds a sense of accomplishment that fuels a positive feedback loop — the more you accomplish, the more productive you’ll feel.
When setting up your workflow, create small, specific goals that work to contribute to your larger milestones. Instead of feeling like you need to take huge, bounding leaps forward, use micro-goals as the steps to help you put one foot in front of the other.
Commit to taking hard breaks
One of the biggest challenges of a looming to-do list is the pressure it creates to keep going until it’s done. Regardless of whether that pressure is coming from your boss, your competitive peers, or from your self-set expectations, it’s a huge contributor to burnout.
Adjust your “after this task is done” mindset by scheduling hard breaks in your workday. Intentionally set a lunchtime, carve out 15 minutes of time in the afternoon, and put a hard stop on your workday so that you’re able to unwind and recenter yourself.
Consider the Pomodoro Technique, breaking your tasks into 25-minute increments while religiously taking five minutes to step away between each one. Develop a system that works for you and doesn’t negate the proof that breaks boost productivity and improve focus.
Write down future plans for your future-self
In the daily drudgery of task work, you can quickly become distracted by daydreams of new ideas and big-picture future goals. And they’re a great thing to have!
But dreams of grandeur can steal your focus from the task at hand and zap the energy you need to ensure your present success.
Create space for yourself to revel in your future plans. Buy a journal and be intentional about recording your goals. Set time weekly or monthly to devote to reflecting on past entries and measuring how your work right now is contributing to the plans you have for your future self. When you’re able to see how your “right now” tasks are contributing to your long-term growth, you’ll be more focused and motivated to do great work.
Pause to celebrate immediate achievement
A medical sales job means constantly pushing toward the next ‘big thing.’ When you win, your work is quickly swept up with a quick “good job” into the next round of goals. It’s easy for reps to lose morale, even if you’ve exceeded your sales numbers consistently.
Adequate recognition of your achievements is crucial to your progress. Instead of immediately thinking of how you can do better next time, take time to celebrate. Remove the to-do list for a bit and share your accomplishments with your family, friends, or dog. Do something to reward yourself for the goals you have already accomplished and then set your new goals tomorrow.