By Claire Deane
If you identify as an introvert, which quite a few of us bloggers do, you’ll know that spending some delicious time alone recharges your batteries. But, it’s often self-care that’s the first thing to go out the window when there’s a looming deadline, particularly if you’re working with people who don’t understand the importance of managing your energy when you’re an introvert. or, how to prioritise self care and alone time, when you’ve got a business to run, a blog to manage, and a job to ace? It’s as simple as rocking your calendar!
Typically, if it goes into your calendar, it somehow gets given the same level of importance as client meetings or doctors appointments. Carving out time for self care, and actually writing it down, means you’re much more likely to stick to it, and it means your co-workers won’t be tempted to book annoying meetings if your calendar shows you’re unavailable!
There are seven things we always make sure to schedule:
- Exercise. This is probably the thing that gets put on the backburner when demands on our time are high, but as the #fitspo posts affirm, an hour of exercise is only 4% of your day.
- Meeting-free days. This means uninterrupted time for creativity, thinking, regrouping, admin...Better yet, nominate 1-2 days a week as meeting days, and stick to it. You will get none of your actual work done if your days are interrupted with conversations that you have to prepare for. A full day of meetings can be an introvert’s worst nightmare, but if you’re managing your energy well every other day of the week, you’ll be surprised at how much time this will save.
- Grocery Shopping. If it’s in the house, you’ll eat properly, so make sure you set yourself up for success.
- On days filled with meetings, we schedule an ending time for each meeting. It prevents too much time spent on small talk, and provides additional security of a set end time. Introverts aren’t big on small talk, preferring to get down and deep, to really understand the problems of their clients or readers, and cutting down on the introductory chats at the beginning of a meeting will not only save time, but will allow you to go deep much quicker, which makes for much more effective problem solving.
- Date night. You’ve gotta look after your (wo)man.
- Time to work on our businesses, not in our businesses. Since networking is on par with getting stabbed in the eye with a fork, blogging, social media and outreach is the key to growing our businesses or building your own personal profile.
- Times we’re not going to respond to people. Like, 11pm at night, and weekends. We, as introverts, prefer to communicate via email, but that might make us seem available 24-7, when all we really want to do at 11pm is lie face down on the coach and binge-watch Orange is the New Black.
If the re’s one tip you take away from this article, it’s that you need to manage your meetings. Don’t let them manage you! Here’s how we do it:
- Have a standing meeting. Things will get done quicker, and you’re not sitting at a desk all day, which has health implications in itself!
- Don’t go to any meeting that doesn’t have an agenda. No agenda means nobody has thought through whether there is actually a point to the meeting. It doesn’t need to be some formal, full blown document, but it does need to be written down.
- Where’s the rule that says meetings have to go for an hour? Schedule 10 minute meetings, if that’s all getting an outcome will take.
- Having an “out” is key. Plan back-to-back meetings, wear a watch or casually let your clients
- know you have somewhere to be in the next hour. You’ll bypass the small talk and get things done!
Are you an introvert? What would you add to the list?
Claire Deane and Allie Lehman, are co-authors of a soon-to-be released eBook, Charge Up | Build Your Business And Manage Your Energy With Your Introversion Superpowers. Charge Up is about proactively managing your life and career, filling your tank full of delicious alone-time goodness, so that socialising, networking, building your biz and spending time with people is awesome, not awful. It’s full of tips, tricks and hacks from Allie and Claire (both entrepreneurs themselves at The Wonderjam and Claire Deane Marketing) as well as insight from other successful bloggers and entrepreneurs from Columbus to Brisbane, Australia!