By Molly Powers

The remote environment you have learned to adapt to means you took your work home with you six months ago. 

Since the spring, there has been a great deal of buzz about burnout and mental load. The boundaries of work and home remain blurred, and downtime feels very limited. While our responsibilities are all different, I think a gentle reminder that we are not superhuman is needed during these difficult times.

Personally, I have found it challenging to find the right thing to write about this year. It seems rather fitting that my writer’s block was due to a daunting to-do list, and the blank page staring back at me turned into another thing lingering on that same to-do list.

For advisors, it is critical that you can be present and articulate in your conversations with clients, but it is no secret that we are all facing the same uphill battle. Consider some of these practical tips to help you recharge, which should lead to greater focus when you interact with your clients.

Recharge Method #1: Identify Your Mental Load and Delegate

Mental load is the perpetual and invisible task list that you would like completed that exists outside of work responsibilities. Whether it is a daily task such as unloading the dishwasher or a one-off activity like planting flowers, there is burden in dwelling on how and when it will be accomplished.

Even with a consistent schedule, many advisors have watched their commute time replaced with new time for “one more thing before logging on.” These household items can be distracting especially when you want to be productive while working. Your clients may be voicing the same concerns about dealing with things that are overwhelming them but remain undone.

What to Do to Check Things Off the List

  • Make a physical list of these invisible items and prioritize
  • Delegate to others in your household
  • Consider bringing in a professional service
  • Enlist the help of friends and family (at a safe distance, of course)

When you complete a task, you should take a moment to acknowledge that this item has been accomplished. The focus should be on completed items, not on what is still to be done.

Recharge Method #2: Take Your Schedule in a New Direction

Burnout is defined as mentally distancing yourself from your job in a negative way and being mentally and physically exhausted to the point you cannot perform your job effectively.1 Keeping tabs on work email 24/7 seems to have become the norm with senders expecting instantaneous responses.

As you work through your email inbox and identify new tasks that need to be addressed, your attention is easily shifted away from other priorities. This exhausting cycle can make you feel as if you are not accomplishing much. As an example of this growing trend, Microsoft Outlook introduced the “focus time” feature, which can be used to protect daily schedules from being consumed by meetings and allocate time to concentrate uninterrupted.

What to Do to Manage Your Day

  • Devote the first hour or two of your day to make headway on long-outstanding projects at the top of your list
  • Be vigilant about blocking your calendar to pinpoint exactly what you want and need to achieve within that dedicated time
  • Try schedule-blocking tools (or simply block an hour on your calendar) to help you avoid becoming overwhelmed

Recharge Method #3: Log Out and Take a Walk

If you successfully manage your time to address every responsibility at work and at home, you will have no time left to take care of yourself. Your personal and professional goals are important, but it is essential that you take a legitimate break and appreciate the world around you. This goes for everyone, especially new parents, working moms, family caregivers and anyone who has ever said, “I just have to send one more email.”

What to Do to Avoid Burning Out

  • Designate a specific period of time (or a day over the weekend) as a work-free zone
  • Reduce the number of times per day you check your email and your phone
  • Take a long walk without your phone (or a short walk with your phone to catch up with a family member)

Many of our plans have changed in 2020. There is a great deal of unknown that still lies ahead of us. Being aware of managing your mental load and reducing your stress can ensure that you do not burn out. That way, whatever the next day brings, you can continue to enjoy the journey along the way.



Molly provides support to advisors in different stages of their career from onboarding to succession planning. With nearly a decade of experience in financial services, she serves as a primary resource for new advisors, acquisition transitions and practice management.

We help advisors establish and grow successful wealth management practices. To learn more about how we can help you amplify your life’s work, contact us at You can follow us on Twitter@theWAAlliance and on LinkedIn.

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1Burn-Out an ‘Occupational Phenomenon.’” World Health Organization, May 28, 2019.


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