5 Critical Steps to Maintaining a Work-Life Balance

We cannot serve others if we don't serve ourselves.

What is the difference between “work” and “life” and what do I mean when I write about work/life balance?

I have been reflecting a lot lately on work/life balance and how some of us struggle when we are in the midst of challenging times in our industry. How much time is enough or too much to spend working each week? Are we taking time away from the people we love in our lives? Is our health declining because we are not exercising on a regular basis. Are we depressed or feeling anxiety about not having enough business and how this will affect our lives and our families? Are we eating right? Are we getting enough sleep?

It is in these challenging times when we must get up, go to work and give our best every day. However, there must also be the right amount of balance for us to maintain our focus and our energy.

I hope what I have written below will bring value to you.

I believe in hard work. I also believe in the need for down time and rejuvenation. Too much of either of these can lead to problems at work and/or at home.

We should work hard staying focused and engaged during our working hours. Give 100% of your heart and mind to the job. The job can be a parent, a loan originator (sales), an executive, an administrative position, an independent contractor or any other position where focus and engagement are required.

We should approach our time away from work the same way. Whether it is a 15 minute break during the week day or the time in the evenings after work or on weekends and vacations, relax and enjoy. Work will be there when we return.


It is important to be connected to your business. Today more than ever clients and companies we work for and with expect us to be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year. That is unreasonable and it will lead to burnout, resentment or cause a loss of equity in our valuable personal relationships.

Be connected during work hours and disconnect from work and work related devices. There may be rare exceptions but we should do our best to keep those exceptions as rare as possible.


There is time in every day for us to take a few minutes and stop working. Some of the things I would suggest include reflecting, reading, taking a short nap, taking a walk or spending time with or calling someone important to you.

A few short minutes of “you time” can go a long way in making our work more productive and thus us more valuable to our organization.


I believe exercise is essential for mind and body health. Eating the right foods (5 small meals per day) and spending at least one hour three times a week working out (running, biking, elliptical, weight lifting, hiking, walking, tennis, yoga, Pilates etc…) will help stabilize our energy and focus both at work and at home.

I suggest beginning slowly. One day of exercise a week in the first week and add one more day in the second and third weeks. Start with one low fat high protein meal a day and one more each week until our diet is highly concentrated in low fat and high protein foods including fruits and vegetables.


When we are stressed or anxious about business and/or life it can cut into the quality and quantity of our sleep. Our bodies must rest and rejuvenate for the next day. Not all of us need eight hours of sleep every night but we do need a certain amount of quality sleeping hours. A lack of sleep can lead to mental and physical health issues. Try to turn off the world at night and focus on reading or watching TV to get the mind to slow down enough to fall asleep. 


Few things are more invigorating than spending time with the people who are the most valuable relationships in our lives. Sharing laughter, experiences, travel and reflection time with “our people” can and will improve the quality of our lives and the productivity and results at our job.

In closing, work/life balance is a constant struggle. I recommend we start slowly and work towards our goal of living an extraordinary life at home and at work.

Daryl Wizelman is a dynamic Loan Officer focused Senior Mortgage Banking Executive whose experience reflects over 25 years of creative leadership, strategic planning, employee & branch recruiting, employee and branch retention in the mortgage industry.