If you’re an introvert like me, I’m sure you’re familiar with the drain and physical (if not mental) exhaustion that comes after doing certain activities we’re required to do in our jobs, such as going to networking events and attending meetings.
In my first months working as a teacher, I remember I used to go back home so tired and emotionally drained. I had no energy left to do the things I enjoy doing to recharge.
I had no schedule and I felt overwhelmed and unproductive. So I sat down and planned my life!
I had one goal in mind for the rest of the year: manage my energy levels during workdays to maximize my productivity and enjoy the weekends.
It’s been almost two years and I now know for a fact that I’m doing my best on and off work following these tips I’m offering you on:
How To Manage Your Energy As An Introvert
Plan Your Weekly Schedule
For you to preserve your energy throughout the day, you need to learn how to use your time efficiently. You can do that by planning your week ahead.
Time and energy actually walk hand in hand together. Minding your time leads to preserving more energy because when you start your day knowing exactly what you’re going to do reduces the chances of you getting overwhelmed by work and…people!
So go sit in a quiet place and prepare for the week.
When planning your weekly schedule, Highlight important events and duties you have at work. If it’s something that requires preparation, make room in your schedule for that. I guarantee you’ll stop dreading it if you know you have time to prepare for it.
David Hall, author of “Minding Your Time: Time Management, Productivity, and Success, Especially for Introverts” said in an interview when asked to provide a tactic that can benefit introverts and help them manage their energy: “We often do best when we can think ahead of time and prepare for certain activities, such as a presentation or meeting. Prioritizing your time and scheduling “appointments with yourself” to focus on specific tasks or prepare for upcoming events..”
Being Introverts, we’re natural thinkers. So think about what works for you and customize your schedule according to that.
Oh, and please start with a simple planner. Don’t complicate something that’s supposed to make your life easier!
Tune In To Your Strengths
Another tip is to focus on the things you’re good at. The ones that make you feel better about yourself when you’re done with them.
People generally spend little energy on the things they enjoy doing. On the contrary, they may even gain more energy from doing them, even if these things are work related.
When you’re at work choose the tasks that you know you can do with ease and enjoy doing, or at least start your shift with these and it will give you a boost to finish the rest of the job.
Be Verbal About Your Social Limitations
You’re an introvert. Any social interaction that takes hours of your day will be overstimulating for you and drain you.
The only way for you to lessen the effect of these social interactions is to communicate your need for quiet and time alone to your boss and colleagues.
Tell them you’re going somewhere quiet in the office to work comfortably, or that you’re going to close the door to work on something and that’s you’d appreciate not being disturbed.
Seriously, people think that introverts are meek because we choose to let them think like that by not expressing our needs!
Don’t assume that people will hear you out when all you do is repeat the words over and over in your head “I need quiet and alone time to focus on the job. I can’t work properly when someone is standing over my head. I don’t like working in an open space office!”
Be literal, and you’ll be surprised that most people will respect your wish.
Take One Task At a Time
If you want to go about minding your energy and avoiding being burned out, then you better stay away from multitasking because it’s problematic. It reduces one’s productivity and can even negatively affect the brain.
Even if you’re doing things that you enjoy as I suggested above, trying to do them all at once will do you more harm than good this time.
So take your time to finish your tasks one at a time.
Practice Being Aware Of Others
We introverts tend to dread going to social gatherings and often go unprepared. That’s why we get easily distracted and zone out when we’re dealing with others. Most importantly, We get easily overstimulated because we were not ready and we’re not fully there!
The ability to be attuned and aware of others in the present is essential to stand any social communication. We lack that kind of awareness. We’re not fully present when we are with others and that’s why it takes our brain extra effort to keep up with our inward thoughts and any other outward stimuli. Eventually, we end up drained and tired.
Being conscious of your surroundings and the people you’re with is a trait that can be learned. It will take your brain less energy to focus and believe me, it’ll save you a lot of overthinking when you’re home later.
There are a lot of self help books that can help you achieve the perfect balance between self awareness and awareness of others.