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10 Things Introverts Do Which Make Them Productive

10 Things Introverts Do Which Make Them Productive

Introverts may be often misunderstood because of their quiet nature, but there are several areas where their quiet nature pays off. One of those areas is productivity. Here are 10 things that introverts do that make them productive.

1. They Are Naturally Creative

Creativity can be one of the most valued skills when it comes to productivity, and this puts introverts at an advantage because they have creativity hard-wired into them. Introverts tend to spend a lot of time in introspection, and this time alone is a breeding ground for great ideas. The trick is capturing the ideas in a place where they won’t be forgotten.

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2. They Are Intentional

Introverts tend to be naturally cautious people, approaching any task with great thought and care. While this could be a detriment if they allow caution to turn into paralysis, it can a great asset if they learn to utilize it to get things done. Being intentional allows introverts to be selective about the things they do and not taking on every project that comes their way. The art of saying no frees them up to get the most important things on their plates completed.

3. They Take Communication Seriously

Introverts don’t tend to spend a lot of time speaking in front of large crowds, or at least that’s the common thinking. In fact, introverts can be great public communicators because they take the task very seriously. Introverts are typically careful about how they portray themselves in front of others. This works in their favor because they’ll put a lot of time and prep work into making sure their public communication is top notch.

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4. They Are Detail-Oriented

Introverts are naturally observant people, and because of this, they’re not likely to overlook any detail. This can be really important to an introvert’s productivity because they’re not having to play catch up on something important that they previously overlooked.

5. They Are Independent

Introverts are often in a perfect position to get things done because they don’t often feel the need to rely on someone else to get things done. In fact, introverts are more likely to choose tasks for which they don’t have to wait on someone else to tackle. Being able to jump right into a task independently can be really valuable for productivity.

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6. They Disconnect When Necessary

Introverts need to recharge. They don’t run on a boundless source of energy. Fortunately, introverts often realize this and take steps to disconnect from projects if their energy level is acting as more of a detriment to their productivity than an asset.

7. They Choose Their Words Carefully

Communication is important to productivity because not all tasks can be performed by a single person. Introverts are sometimes a part of a team, and they can be a valuable part of the team because they’re careful about the words they use to communicate information. Introverts strive for clarity and precision in their communication, and this can help teams to know exactly what needs to be done.

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8. They Are Focused

While some people can be easily distracted from a task, introverts tend to be more focused. They’re able to devote all of their attention to a task until it’s finished. In fact, introverts often like to avoid interruption of their workflow as much as possible.

9. They Are Attentive

When it comes to productivity, few things can be worse than communicating important task information whose attention isn’t completely focused on taking in the information. Fortunately, introverts are great listeners. They’re able to take in information with great understanding while also asking clarifying questions if they don’t understand something the first time.

10. They Plan Ahead

Introverts are often relentless planners. They don’t tend to enjoy being surprised, so they try to foresee every possible outcome that might come along. They work great with paper and pen and can serve teams well in making plans for maximum productivity.

Featured photo credit: Man Standing Alone/Joshua Earle via download.unsplash.com

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Last Updated on April 19, 2021

The Art of Taking a Break So You Will Be Productive Again

The Art of Taking a Break So You Will Be Productive Again

Think of yourself as a cup. Each day, you wake up full. But as you go about your day—getting tasks done and interacting with people—the amount in your cup gradually gets lower. And as such, you get less and less effective at whatever it is you’re supposed to be doing. You’re running out of steam.

The solution is obvious: if you don’t have anything left to pour out, then you need to find a way to fill yourself up again. In work terms, that means you should take a break—an essential form of revitalizing your motivation and focus.

Taking a break may get a bad rap in hustle culture, but it’s an essential, science-based way to ensure you have the capacity to live your life the way you want to live it.

In the 1980s, when scientists began researching burnout, they described this inner capacity as “resources.” We all need to replenish our resources to cope with stress, work effectively, and avoid burnout.[1]

When the goal is to get things done, it may sound counterproductive to stop what you’re doing. But if you embrace the art of taking a break, you can be more efficient and effective at work.

Here are five ways on how you can take a break and boost your productivity.

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1. Break for the Right Amount of Time, at the Right Time

When I started my first job out of college, I was bent on pleasing my boss as most entry-level employees do. So, every day, I punched in at 9 AM on the dot, took a 60-minute lunch break at noon, and left no earlier than 5 PM.

As I’ve logged more hours in my career, I’ve realized the average, eight-hour workday with an hour lunch break simply isn’t realistic—especially if your goal is to put your best foot forward at work.

That’s why popular productivity techniques like the Pomodoro advocate for the “sprint” principle. Basically, you work for a short burst, then stop for a short, five-minute break. While the Pomodoro technique is a step forward, more recent research shows a shorter burst of working followed by a longer pause from work might actually be a more effective way to get the most out of stepping away from your desk.

The team at DeskTime analyzed more than 5 million records of how workers used their computers on the job. They found that the most productive people worked an average of 52 minutes, then took a 17-minute break afterward.[2]

What’s so special about those numbers? Leave it to neuroscience. According to researchers, the human brain naturally works in spurts of activity that last an hour. Then, it toggles to “low-activity mode.”[3]

Even so, keep in mind that whatever motivates you is the most effective method. It’s more about the premise—when you know you have a “finish line” approaching, you can stay focused on the task or project at hand.

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There are many applications and tools that can help you block distracting websites and apps (such as social media) for specific periods of the day. Similarly, you can also use some mailing apps like Mailbrew to receive all the social media content or newsletters you don’t want to miss in your inbox at a time you decide.

So, no matter how long you work, take a break when you sense you’re losing steam or getting bored with the task. Generally, a 10-15 minute break should reinvigorate you for whatever’s coming next.

2. Get a Change of Scenery—Ideally, Outdoors

When it comes to increasing a person’s overall mental health, there’s no better balm than nature. Research has found that simply being outside can restore a person’s mind from mental fatigue related to work or studying, ultimately contributing to improved work performance (and even improved work satisfaction).[4]

No lush forest around? Urban nature can be just as effective to get the most out of your break-taking. Scientists Stephen R. Kellert and Edward O. Wilson, in their book The Biophilia Hypothesis, claimed that even parks, outdoor paths, and building designs that embrace “urban nature” can lend a sense of calm and inspiration, encouraging learning and alertness for workers.

3. Move Your Body

A change of scenery can do wonders for your attention span and ability to focus, but it’s even more beneficial if you pair it with physical movement to pump up that adrenaline of yours. Simply put, your body wasn’t designed to be seated the entire day. In fact, scientists now believe that extended periods of sitting are just as dangerous to health as smoking.[5]

It’s not always feasible to enjoy the benefits of a 30-minute brisk walk during your workday, especially since you’ll most likely have less energy during workdays. But the good news is, for productivity purposes, you don’t have to. Researchers found that just 10 minutes of exercise can boost your memory and attention span throughout the entire day.[6]

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So, instead of using your break to sit and read the news or scroll your social media account, get out of your chair and move your body. Take a quick walk around the block. Do some jumping jacks in your home office. Whatever you choose, you’ll likely find yourself with a sharper focus—and more drive to get things done.

4. Connect With Another Person

Social connection is one of the most important factors for resilience. When we’re in a relationship with other people, it’s easier to cope with stress—and in my experience, getting social can also help to improve focus after a work break.

One of my favorite ways to break after a 30-or-so minute sprint is to hang out with my family. And once a week, I carve out time to Skype my relatives back in Turkey. It’s amazing how a bit of levity and emotional connection can rev me up for the next work sprint.

Now that most of us are working from home, getting some face-to-face time with a loved one isn’t as hard as it once was. So, take the time to chat with your partner. Take your kids outside to run around the backyard. If you live alone, call a friend or relative. Either way, coming up for air to chat with someone who knows and cares about you will leave you feeling invigorated and inspired.

5. Use Your Imagination

When you’re working with your head down, your brain has an ongoing agenda: get things done, and do it well. That can be an effective method for productivity, but it only lasts so long—especially because checking things off your to-do list isn’t the only ingredient to success at work. You also need innovation.

That’s why I prioritize a “brain break” every day. When I feel my “cup” getting empty, I usually choose another creative activity to exercise my brain, like a Crossword puzzle, Sudoku, or an unrelated, creative project in my house.

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And when I’m really struggling to focus, I don’t do anything at all. Instead, I let my brain roam free for a bit, following my thoughts down whatever trail they lead me. As it turns out, there’s a scientific benefit to daydreaming. It reinforces creativity and helps you feel more engaged with the world, which will only benefit you in your work.[7]

Whether you help your kids with their distance learning homework, read an inspiring book, or just sit quietly to enjoy some fresh air, your brain will benefit from an opportunity to think and feel without an agenda. And, if you’re anything like me, you might just come up with your next great idea when you aren’t even trying.

Final Thoughts

Most of us have to work hard for our families and ourselves. And the current world we live in demands the highest level of productivity that we can offer. However, we also have to take a break once in a while. We are humans, after all.

Learning the art of properly taking a break will not only give you the rest you need but also increase your productivity in the long run.

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Featured photo credit: Helena Lopes via unsplash.com

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