Photo credit: boyslife.org

It’s August and summer is winding down, which means school is right around the corner. One of the first things that comes to mind for some people when they think about school starting is seeing the bright yellow bus come through the neighborhood. Unfortunately, the kind of bus that periodically comes into play for me is the struggle bus.You know what I’m talking about – “All aboard the struggle bus – you’re in for a rough ride!”

I’m going to get real here. I make my way aboard the struggle bus from time to time, but when I was an Online Sales Specialist, I found myself with a one-way ticket to crazy town more than I’d like to admit. The struggle bus would pick me up most often in the Spring market when I was so busy I could barely stay afloat, and in the Fall when school starts back up, my mom duties are in full force, and the market reignites from the lazy days of Summer.

When you feel yourself struggling with managing it all, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. Admit you need help. Tell someone that you are feeling overwhelmed. Whether it’s a spouse, friend, or your manager – admitting that you need help doesn’t make you weak or less of a professional. The simple act of talking about your struggles will make you feel better and guess what? There’s a good chance that the person you’re telling has or is feeling the same way.
  2. Get back to basics. Don’t try and be extra when you’re on the struggle bus. You may have a huge list of special projects that you want to tackle, and that’s great. However, remember the fundamentals of your job and your first priorities. New leads, online sales process, being a boss on the phone, and setting appointments. Be extra when you have a little more downtime.
  3. Hire a cleaning professional. You may think I’m joking – but I’m completely serious. I don’t know about you, but when I look around my house, and it’s dirty or messy, it makes me feel even more stressed and overwhelmed than I already do from work. Ask yourself: how many appointments do I need to set this month to pay for a house cleaner?
  4. Make time for yourself. Take a day to reset. When your phone rings and you start resenting it, that’s your cue that you need a break OR you’re in the wrong profession. If it’s the first option, then take a step back and take an R&R day. You’re not doing anyone any favors by talking to prospective buyers when you’re in a bad mood. Don’t judge but I can remember, as an OSC, taking a day off to get my home, kids, dogs, and car organized, and to run errands. Just these simple acts of getting organized helped me come back to work the next day refreshed and focused.

There are so many different parts and pieces to the online sales role that you’re managing on a daily basis that it’s normal to feel overwhelmed sometimes. Large call volumes, lead and CRM management, task switching, reporting, buyers, sales execs – I could go on and on. And when your personal life explodes, it can all seem too much. You’re not alone; I’m pretty sure you’ll find a friend from time to time on the same struggle bus. Just don’t stay on it too long or you might not find your way home.

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