Do you ever get that head-full whirling feeling?
Where you can’t quite keep up with yourself?
I’m in that space just now. I’m feeling a great energy in my work, with some wonderful projects on the go, new opportunities presenting themselves and ideas arriving thick and fast too.
And yet… there’s a part of me knows what happens next when I hit this energy level and if I was my own coach I’d be asking questions about sustainability right around now!
My inbox is full. Well, inboxes. I’ve ended up with two new email addresses and already feeling as though that was a really bad idea. I’ve got papers all over. And as for the post-it’s… don’t even go there! There are new people in my world, here as part of the new projects, all wonderful humans, but new people nonetheless.
As an introvert I find myself drained by social interaction and as a highly-sensitive person I’m wiped out by a busy environment (which probably explains my regular craving for a declutter!)
So, whilst I know I can keep up this level of busy-ness for a short while, it will catch up with me, and so I’ve pulled together my favourite ways to look after my energy when I find myself being too busy:
5 ways to manage your energy as a busy introvert
1. Set clear boundaries about time with other people
Get super clear on how much you can do. How much time can you usefully spend with people (yes, even on zoom) before you’re ready to leave the room? Maybe it’s half an hour, maybe it’s two hours. Be honest. A really productive 30 minutes is so much better for everyone involved than an hour that drains you (and remember, if they want you involved, assume they also want the best from you, so be selfish here!)
2. Schedule time for being unavailable
Yes, you are allowed to do this. Put it in your diary and protect it fiercely!
3. Choose your channels
When you are available, you don’t have to be available everywhere.
If you find yourself checking for messages on LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook, plus scanning for WhatsApp notifications, and voicemails and looking over 3 inboxes, you’re likely frazzled before you’ve even thought about how to respond.
What if you got to choose how people contact you, so you only need check in one place? Auto-replies could be a great way to direct all communication to one place and is simple with emails. Of course the social platforms don’t make it easy to set auto-responses for messages because they want you to be there in the app (you need a paid account on LinkedIn, and a business account on Instagram for example) but you can make a note in your profile of the best way to get in touch, and trust that the right people will contact you this way!
4. Recharge in your own way
Noticing what does boost your energy is key here! Being introverted does not mean we have low energy (or that we’re always quiet, more on that another day) and knowing what recharges you is very useful information indeed.
We’re all different, so really check in with your own stuff, and notice that it may change day to day, and so you’ll hopefully have a ‘menu’ of options to choose from depending how you’re feeling.
For me, it’s reading enchanting fiction (The Night Circus is taking me away from it all right now), dancing with my headphones in and my eyes shut, weeding the garden… anything that doesn’t involve screens or talking!
5. Say no.
Of course, you probably want to say yes to everyone who wants a piece of you. But you don’t have to. You get to say no. You can say it nicely… but still… no.
And remember to breathe!
If you’d like nurturing emails, thoughtful journaling prompts and to read more about my own introverted journey through self-doubt as a small business owner, you can sign up right here.