Introvert — managing your energy levels

When someone has identified a challenge, consciously pushed through with a plan to succeed, and overcome, there is no greater cause for respect in my eyes.

As an introvert or shy person I also understand that the easiest thing to do when required to step out into discomfort is to retreat to a position of comfort and familiarity. But we can’t keep doing this…….Introversion and quiet characteristics are assets, not excuses. True or true?

Sometimes it’s a case of being honest with ourselves and managing our energy levels, rather than aimlessly committing to every invite and then experiencing burnout, or constantly refusing invites for fear of burnout. Let’s pass on both of these options, shall we?

Managing our Energy output

In his article named The Power of Quiet: 4 leadership tools for introverts, Joe Indvik, the Co-Founder and President of Sparkfund and an introvert discusses managing your energy budget; a fantastic concept. Essentially he advises that we prioritize using our energy budget and use for activities/meetings that will profit us most.

Personally, it helps me to give myself a little time in between coaching and speaking sessions. And as much as I can avoid it, I don’t schedule in back-to-back events without a break in between. I also try and schedule my working week in such a way that I have no more than 4 important meetings each week and have quiet time before, where possible. A common trap that is fallen into is to look at our calendar, see that we have the time and jam-pack it full of events/activities that require a high level of energy (especially at weekends and certain seasons), simply because we have the time. Don’t fall for it!

I work with my coaching clients to get them to the stage where they are able to unapologetically manage the expectations of others with regards to what they can and can’t do. For example, there is no problem with accepting an invite and making the host aware that we’ll be in attendance at the beginning, but may also need to leave earlier. Do they need to know why?? The fact that you have gotten up and showed up, even for a short while, honours the person or event and that’s what really matters.

It may help for you to keep an energy journal for a week, whereby you briefly note down your schedule and you identify the occasions within the week where your energy has been most depleted and most importantly, where you can schedule in some time to recharge. Of course, it’s important to be productive and get things done, but you also need to avoid energy burnout AT ALL COSTS, as once you reach this point, it’ll take a good while to recharge.

We don’t want to look like this guy

When we understand when energy levels are at their peak and lowest, we can then create and apply the tools and mechanisms, some of which I have mentioned above, which will help with managing our time and energy in a way that is most fitting for our lifestyle.

This powerful statement was made by Maya Angelou and has always stuck with me “If a human being dreams a great dream……….if a human being dares to be Martin King, or Mahatma Gandhi, or Mother Theresa, or Malcolm X; if a human being dares to be bigger than the condition into which she or he was born — it means so can you”. Essentially, we can create who we want to be and develop the necessary characters and changes and I feel that this is possible when we have a process to follow.

Have you identified those individuals who have worked past the issues or difficulties you may be experiencing? My advice is to identify highly successful introverts and shy individuals and study their approach to using their characteristics to their advantage. Take Warren Buffett, Eleanor Roosevelt, or Bill Gates for example, these people have used their introversion as an asset to help them excel and there isn’t one reason that you can’t also.

Peace, love….and the love of quiet

Natalie
From A Seed Coaching