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5 Reasons You May Be Doing This Introvert Thing All Wrong

5 Reasons You May Be Doing This Introvert Thing All Wrong

So you’ve done all the quizzes, watched the talks, read the books and discovered you are in fact, an introvert. You are now well-versed, and well-positioned to begin your confident and happy life as an out and proud intro; no apologies or explanations, right? So why do you feel stuck? With all the information to hand, you’ve somehow fallen right back into the cycle of pre-self discovery and have unfortunately gone back to your closeted introvert ways. Things just aren’t falling into place, you’re more drained than ever, and no one seems to understand your needs.

Chances are, you’ve gone about this introvert thing all wrong, and you’re not alone. Many introverts have found that once the initial ‘hype’ calms down, what they’re left with is pretty much the same thing they had before they put a name to their introverted nature. But there’s still hope.

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Let’s look at a few reasons why you may be struggling, as we suggest ways to help you, and keep you introvert happy!

1. You don’t know what type of introvert you are.

Are you an extreme introvert who requires the maximum amount of solitude in order to function? Perhaps you’re a social introvert, who loves mixing it up with people, but requires the odd break in between to keep going? Or maybe you’re an Ambivert – that balance between extrovert and introvert. Either way, it’s important to find out, and focus on your own unique ‘-vert’ status. All the best introvert advice in the world will do nothing for you if you haven’t discovered where you sit on the spectrum. It just won’t fit. Discovering just how much recharging time you may actually need will begin to set you on a more peaceful, stress-free and less confusing path in understanding. Allowing you to really begin to appreciate your introverted nature.

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2. You’re still having trouble saying, “No.”

You’re still hanging out at parties way past the time you actually want to leave, still afraid you’ll look anti-social. You’re attending your third get-together this weekend because you felt pressured to do so, but you’d rather be at home, enjoying some much needed down time. Unfortunately, it’s likely you still haven’t let go of your introvert insecurities. Those insecurities that once followed you around pre-knowledge, forcing you to conform to the social ‘norms’. And saying “no” is still a problem. The difference is however, you can no longer feign ignorance of your introvert needs, as you resentfully go against all you now know, and continue to allow those earlier insecurities to dictate. The good news is, you now have the tools and information at hand to help you put a stop to the madness. So “no” more excuses!

3. You’re not carving out time to recharge.

This is a tough one for most introverts. You’ve probably spent most of your life trying to do the opposite, as to not appear rude, or weird. It’s a challenge at first, to begin requesting and actually carving out some alone time for yourself, but it is essential, and is at the heart of being an introvert; you need time-outs, to recharge and recoup so you can get right back in there and start swinging! You have to get serious about how and when you recharge – it’s totally down to you. You have to take charge on this one. There’s nothing cute about a frazzled, burnt-out introvert just trying to hold it all together.

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4. You’re focusing on the wrong things.

You’ve probably been taught most of your life to party or chat your worries away. And though this may seem like great advice, it simply doesn’t work that way for most introverts. Sure, it’ll be fun, and you won’t be thinking about your problems when you’re laughing it up with your buddies, but unlike an extrovert, introverts need that time to get away and think things through. Not least because the constant fun doesn’t mean the brain switches off. Oh no. In fact, the introvert brain is usually just as busy as the body during these rather social moments, which can be extremely exhausting when you’re trying to forget about it all, even for a few hours. This can lead to total burn out.

The solution: focus inward. What you need may not be out there, but within. Your rich inner life is a thing of wonder; tap into it. By giving yourself time to maul things over first, you’ll have a clearer head, leaving you free to have fun, and get on with life.

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5. You have people in your life who still don’t understand.

Unfortunately, such is the life of most introverts that not many people close to you will understand your new found need for alone or recharge time. They’ve known you to be the life and soul of the party, or the chatty one in the group, or someone who doesn’t mind them dropping in unannounced (gasp!). Truth is, you did all those things, partly, as a way to accommodate, while negating your own need to recharge. Now, your requests for alone time appear harsh, and friends and family feel personally slighted whenever you turn down an invite. Full disclosure is your best option here. No one likes to be left in the dark, or made to feel like they’re being left behind, so speak up.

By letting those close to you know what you need, they will in turn begin to understand, and will hopefully begin to cut you some slack. Not only will this make you feel more comfortable in your own understanding of your introvert needs, it will also help you let go of those annoying insecurities, and set you free to love being you.

That’s a happy and confident introvert all round!

Featured photo credit: Enjoying View in Adrspach Mountains/Viktor Hanacek via picjumbo.com

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Patricia C. Osei-Oppong

Writer, Poet, Marketer

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Last Updated on November 19, 2019

20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

Are you usually punctual or late? Do you finish things within the time you stipulate? Do you hand in your reports/work on time? Are you able to accomplish what you want to do before deadlines? Are you a good time manager?

If your answer is “no” to any of the questions above, that means you’re not managing your time as well as you want. Here are 20 time management tips to help you manage time better:

1. Create a Daily Plan

Plan your day before it unfolds. Do it in the morning or even better, the night before you sleep. The plan gives you a good overview of how the day will pan out. That way, you don’t get caught off guard. Your job for the day is to stick to the plan as best as possible.

2. Peg a Time Limit to Each Task

Be clear that you need to finish X task by 10am, Y task by 3pm, and Z item by 5:30pm. This prevents your work from dragging on and eating into time reserved for other activities.

3. Use a Calendar

Having a calendar is the most fundamental step to managing your daily activities. If you use outlook or lotus notes, calendar come as part of your mailing software.

I use it. It’s even better if you can sync your calendar to your mobile phone and other hardwares you use – that way, you can access your schedule no matter where you are. Here’re the 10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track .

Find out more tips about how to use calendar for better time management here: How to Use a Calendar to Create Time and Space

4. Use an Organizer

An organizer helps you to be on top of everything in your life. It’s your central tool to organize information, to-do lists, projects, and other miscellaneous items.

These Top 15 Time Management Apps and Tools can help you organize better, pick one that fits your needs.

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5. Know Your Deadlines

When do you need to finish your tasks? Mark the deadlines out clearly in your calendar and organizer so you know when you need to finish them.

But make sure you don’t make these 10 Common Mistakes When Setting Deadlines.

6. Learn to Say “No”

Don’t take on more than you can handle. For the distractions that come in when you’re doing other things, give a firm no. Or defer it to a later period.

Leo Babauta, the founder of Zen Habits has some great insights on how to say no: The Gentle Art of Saying No

7. Target to Be Early

When you target to be on time, you’ll either be on time or late. Most of the times you’ll be late. However, if you target to be early, you’ll most likely be on time.

For appointments, strive to be early. For your deadlines, submit them earlier than required.

Learn from these tips about how to prepare yourself to be early, instead of just in time.

8. Time Box Your Activities

This means restricting your work to X amount of time. Why time boxing is good for you? Here’re 10 reasons why you should start time-boxing.

You can also read more about how to do time boxing here: #5 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity.

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9. Have a Clock Visibly Placed Before You

Sometimes we are so engrossed in our work that we lose track of time. Having a huge clock in front of you will keep you aware of the time at the moment.

10. Set Reminders 15 Minutes Before

Most calendars have a reminder function. If you have an important meeting to attend, set that alarm 15 minutes before.

You can learn more about how reminders help you remember everything in this article: The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

11. Focus

Are you multi-tasking so much that you’re just not getting anything done? If so, focus on just one key task at one time. Multitasking is bad for you.

Close off all the applications you aren’t using. Close off the tabs in your browser that are taking away your attention. Focus solely on what you’re doing. You’ll be more efficient that way.

Lifehack’s CEO has written a definitive guide on how to focus, learn the tips: How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide)

12. Block out Distractions

What’s distracting you in your work? Instant messages? Phone ringing? Text messages popping in?

I hardly ever use chat nowadays. The only times when I log on is when I’m not intending to do any work. Otherwise it gets very distracting.

When I’m doing important work, I also switch off my phone. Calls during this time are recorded and I contact them afterward if it’s something important. This helps me concentrate better.

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Find more tips on how to minimize distractions to achieve more in How to Minimize Distraction to Get Things Done

13. Track Your Time Spent

When you start to track your time, you’re more aware of how you spend your time. For example, you can set a simple countdown timer to make sure that you finish a task within a period of time, say 30 minutes or 1 hour. The time pressure can push you to stay focused and work more efficiently.

You can find more time tracking apps here and pick one that works for you.

14. Don’t Fuss About Unimportant Details

You’re never get everything done in exactly the way you want. Trying to do so is being ineffective.

Trying to be perfect does you more harm than good, learn here about how perfectionism kills your productivity and how to ditch the perfectionism mindset.

15. Prioritize

Since you can’t do everything, learn to prioritize the important and let go of the rest.

Apply the 80/20 principle which is a key principle in prioritization. You can also take up this technique to prioritize everything on your plate: How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

16. Delegate

If there are things that can be better done by others or things that are not so important, consider delegating. This takes a load off and you can focus on the important tasks.

When you delegate some of your work, you free up your time and achieve more. Learn about how to effectively delegate works in this guide: How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

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17. Batch Similar Tasks Together

For related work, batch them together.

For example, my work can be categorized into these core groups:

  1. writing (articles, my upcoming book)
  2. coaching
  3. workshop development
  4. business development
  5. administrative

I batch all the related tasks together so there’s synergy. If I need to make calls, I allocate a time slot to make all my calls. It really streamlines the process.

18. Eliminate Your Time Wasters

What takes your time away your work? Facebook? Twitter? Email checking? Stop checking them so often.

One thing you can do is make it hard to check them – remove them from your browser quick links / bookmarks and stuff them in a hard to access bookmarks folder. Replace your browser bookmarks with important work-related sites.

While you’ll still checking FB/Twitter no doubt, you’ll find it’s a lower frequency than before.

19. Cut off When You Need To

The number one reason why things overrun is because you don’t cut off when you have to.

Don’t be afraid to intercept in meetings or draw a line to cut-off. Otherwise, there’s never going to be an end and you’ll just eat into the time for later.

20. Leave Buffer Time In-Between

Don’t pack everything closely together. Leave a 5-10 minute buffer time in between each tasks. This helps you wrap up the previous task and start off on the next one.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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