Work can sometimes take a lot out of introverts. Even if we love our jobs, it often means spending extended periods of time around people, giving away our energy.
It can also mean dealing with bosses and co-workers who don’t understand what it means to be an introvert.
With that in mind, here are some tips to help you manage your work life as an introvert!
However, it’s worth mentioning that the tips in this post are mostly based on the assumption that you work in a work environment that is, at minimum, semi-supportive. If that’s not the case, these tips will probably only get you so far, and it might be more helpful to consider looking for employment elsewhere.
Ask for what you need
If you find issues with your work environment, come up with some introvert-friendly solutions and ask for them.
This can be true for short-term or more permanent problems.
For instance, if there’s a lot of construction going on outside your window and it’s difficult for you to focus, ask if you can work in the little-used conference room for the time being. If a new cafe just opened right near your office door, ask if you can at some point be moved and if you can work in that conference room for the time being.
The best way to have your needs met is to go to your supervisor with your problem and along with a potential solution. This puts less work on them, and it gives you a better chance of getting a solution that will actually help you.
Or better yet, if you’ve got an open enough boss, don’t ask for what you need. Tell them what you’re doing and let them stop you. So instead of asking to work in the empty conference room, let them know that’s where you’ll be if they need you for anything.
If it’s not okay, they will let you know. Then you can present your problem and possibly work together on a solution. This, of course, depends on your boss, so use your own judgment.
Prioritize (and communicate your priorities)
Sometimes you are assigned extra tasks. This can be hard on anyone, but especially for introverts who are already bleeding energy.
In those cases, it’s important to prioritize what you’re working on and communicate those priorities with your boss and coworkers to make sure you’re all on the same page.
You only have so much time. You only have so much energy. And if you don’t protect those things, no one else will.
No matter how full your plate is, you can’t be everywhere at once. So ask your boss what your priority should be. Then make it clear that you’ll work on that task until it’s complete, then move on to the next one.
This is a technique I learned from one of my introverted office worker friends who’s had a lot of success. This approach typically helps set manageable expectations for everyone involved and keeps the introverted worker from getting bogged down.
Ask for trade-offs
This is another tip that was inspired by my office worker friend. When you’re asked to do something additional, ask for a trade-off. This can be applied to an additional task, and additional time.
If you’re being asked to add something to your list of priorities, ask what that new task should be taking the place of. (This doesn’t mean that you won’t get to everything at some point. But everything can’t be a priority.)
Or if you’re asked to stay late one night, ask to come in late or leave early another day.
Once again, your time and energy do not increase just because more is being asked of you. It’s a finite resource. So if something is being asked of you, you will be in a better position to succeed if you accomplish that task instead of something else, not in addition to.
Find areas to recharge on breaks
If you’re interacting with people at all during your day, getting in a mini-recharge during a break can be incredibly helpful.
So, instead of using your break to catch up with co-workers, or handle another task, find a place to sit by yourself and recharge. This can be done on lunch breaks and shorter breaks.
You can do this by venturing outside, finding an unused room or corner in your building, taking a walk, a nearby location (like a library), or even just sitting in your car.
If this is your lunch break, make it a point to get away from your workplace, but also try to avoid loud or busy lunch rooms.
If none of these spaces is an option, consider bringing a book and/or headphones. This can help you block out unwanted noise and discourage others from conversing with you.
You may have to set some boundaries with some of your co-workers to make this happen. (This post has tips that can help with this!) But overall, I think you’ll find giving yourself this recharge time throughout the day greatly increases your energy and mood!
Looking for more tips on how to manage your introverted life?
If you like this post and are looking for more, check out the Introvert Life Guide! which gives you an even more in-depth look at each of the areas we cover in these emails.
This guide was designed to help you build the introvert life of your dreams. And it’s full of plenty of tips, tricks, and ideas to help you create an introvert life that’s uniquely yours!
It will also help you embrace your introverted nature and build a life to help you thrive!
For more introvert life tips, check out the other introvert posts!
Sound off: How do you manage your worklife as an introvert? Tell us about it in the comments!