We know what it’s like to be a student. Or a professional. A colleague. A boss. A friend. A spouse…we’ve been there. We are there. We hope our tips are just as helpful to you as they are to us.
Here are some of the career…office…business strategies that work for us.
Recharge your internal batteries.
When your cell phone or computer needs a charge, it may not run as well as it should. The mind of an introvert is very similar. That’s why you should give yourself the charge you need, the break you require, even if only for 15 minutes. The longer the better, but get what you can!
If you drive, play music you love, listen to books or a podcast or just choose the sound of silence. Make your commute a time just for you. Same with public transportation, your bike ride or your walk to the office. Create a space with the voice, tone, harmonies and subject matter that helps you recharge.
If you’re a parent, you may not be alone during your commute. Instead of using the car as your interim office between kiddo drop-offs, make this time your time. Even if just for 10 minutes, play music or listen to something that creates a positive space.
Make your commute a time to energize and feed your soul.
Your mornings set the tone.
If you can, arrive at the office early (30 minutes to an hour before most people start their day) to create your own environment that allows you to prepare for the day. The extra time is the perfect time to think and process while the office is quiet. Use this time to dive in to work early, read, write, meditate or just enjoy the moment.
If you can, leave your workspace during lunch, not only to eat, but also to read, take a walk or just find a space to chill. Sit in your car, find a bench, visit a church, sit in your lobby, people-watch, or just be. Take time to recharge from the first half of your day. By resetting the tone during lunch, it will help support the second half of the workday.
Lunch time lets you nourish your body and your soul.
Take a break and nibble on protein.
Snacks are the perfect way to recharge during the day. And adding protein will boost your energy – no caffeine required. There are hundreds of ways to add a bit of protein to your day – from yogurt to almonds to beef jerky. Choose your favorite and enjoy.
Consider staying after hours for a few minutes or longer if you choose. No need to rush out. Instead, decompress from the day, process and note your accomplishments, start planning for tomorrow, or just complete your tasks in peace and quiet, once the noise of the office has ceased.
The end of the workday is a time to be introspective and reflect.
Change your Days/Hours.
Do you have the option to work on days, or at a time when there’s less people commuting and less people in your workspace? If you do, shift your days or hours to when there are fewer distractions.
Most introverts are highly sensitive to external stimulation, so we need less of it, especially at work. Introverts’ stimulation comes from within, so we have all the internal stimulation we need as we are busy analyzing, creating, building and solving the world’s problems! Our friends, the extroverts, need external stimulation. The energy, attention and interaction from others helps them create.
Make your workspace uniquely yours. Some of us like music playing at our desks, while others find it distracting. Figure out what’s best for you. Just because everyone else has music playing at their desks doesn’t mean it’s what’s best for your needs.
Many of us prefer minimal lighting, especially when we’re busy creating something fabulous, so turn your lights off. Use the natural light from the window. If you don’t have a window or it’s a dark outside, buy a lamp with a bulb that warms your space and puts a smile on your face. Learn to love a lamp because it sets the mood, sets the tone and helps distract in your invisible cocoon from the exterior “noise” that surrounds and sometimes invades the introverted soul.
Personalize your workspace.
Overcome the challenges of an Open Office Floor Plan.
Some organizations have dedicated space for quiet such as a quiet room, or individual pods to go and chill out for a few minutes, but many do not.
If you are in a company with an open office plan, you’re really limited with making a space for yourself. While you can apply some of our strategies, keep in mind that if work isn’t working out or it’s just becoming too stressful, there are other jobs. Drastic yes, but peace of mind is what matters most.
If allowed at your company, throw a fleece or microfiber blanket over one wall, or tack it up. It will help with external noise and it’s a great way to personalize your space and show pride in your favorite color, animated character, or even better, your favorite sports team (many colleges and sports franchises have team branded blankets). Make your workspace more like home.
Blankets make great wall décor.