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This article first appeared in Real Estate magazine’s special-edition Women in Real Estate issue. View the entire issue here.

I often see articles about juggling all of the things that we as women have to do these days. Take care of lead generation, get deals negotiated, ensure we have a deal pipeline, be present with our spouse or significant other, be a parent or caretaker, keep our home clean, pay our bills…the list goes on. And yet, something is missing from that list—and it is the most critical piece. Any guesses as to what it is?

Taking care of ourselves. “I take care of myself,” is what you’re most likely saying right now. “I have affirmations on my mirror, I ate a salad last week, and I took a bubble bath after the late-night workout I managed to squeeze in after working a 12-hour day!”

And you probably do take care of yourself, to an extent, but I would also be willing to bet that if anything for your business or family came up when you were supposed to be caring for yourself, you would make it a higher priority.

You are your most important client. You need to set aside time to care for your physical, mental, spiritual and emotional health or you will burn out, and it won’t be pretty. I used to laugh when they would say to put your own mask on first during the safety briefing on flights until one day, I suffered a significant personal loss, and it brought it all into perspective for me. I had no foundation for my life, and it all came crashing down like a house of cards. I had to learn how to put myself first to rebuild that foundation.

Pull out a piece of paper and make a list of what you do to take care of yourself in these four ways:

1. Your physical health. Working out, eating well, tracking steps, getting enough sleep.
2. Your spiritual health. Practicing breathwork, praying, meditating, doing yoga.
3. Your mental health. Taking time to unplug and be present, stepping away from the news cycle, turning off your cellphone.
4. Your emotional health. Being aware of your emotions, managing stress, connecting with others.

Once you have your list, pull out your calendar and put at least one thing from each category into your day at least three days a week. As taking care of yourself becomes more natural, add more days.

During your workday, focus on dollar-productive activities like lead generation, and delegate anything that is not dollar-producing. If you do not have an assistant or transaction coordinator, get one. “I don’t have time” is the worst excuse to not care for yourself. What you are saying is, “I don’t value myself enough to commit the time.” You have time for all you need, and you get to choose how to use it. Choose wisely, and choose you.

Sara Guldi has been a licensed REALTOR® since 2004. She lives in Florida, and for 15 years, co-owned a real estate team in Maryland that consistently exceeded $20 million in production annually. Guldi is now a full-time coach and is also working full-time on her degree in Psychology and Organizational Leadership in Business. She loves helping others build amazing businesses using the performance coaching systems developed by
Workman Success Systems. Contact her at Sara@WorkmanSuccess.com.

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