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My favorite type of blog posts are ones that list a bunch of tips. There are tons of lists for time management & self-care, but I haven’t found one that caters to introverts. I roll my eyes whenever I see a tip that says, “If you’re feeling lonely, go to a social event.”
To me, time management for introverts means making time work for you. Being aware of when your energy levels are at their peak (and at their lowest) is key for time management.
I’ve created a list of 18 time management tips that take into account an introvert’s needs, such as solitude & time to recharge. This list solely focuses on how you spend your time, so you can plan with intention & incorporate self-care into your daily routine.
1. Save “mindless” activities, like chores, for after social interaction (work, social events, networking, etc.). Your brain might be fried, but at least you can get some laundry done!
2. Instead of running errands throughout the week, try doing it all at once. Use one day to run all errands that require you to leave home, then see how you feel. Ask yourself, did this one day lead to exhaustion? Or did it save my energy for the rest of the week?
3. Maintain 30 min/day of at-home exercise for 3-5 days/week (see my at-home yoga practice here)
4. Set aside time in the morning to make important phone calls all at once. This way, you can get it over with & you only have to mentally prepare yourself once
5. Never try to cook a complex meal after going out & running errands. Depending on your social battery, even grocery shopping can tire you out & lead to confusion, frustration, and an unsatisfactory meal.
6. Try to run as many errands from home as possible, such as online groceries — even extroverts do this, and it saves a lot of time & effort!
7. Take a 30 min. nap & wake up 2 hours before a social event or date (or at least be in solitude as much as possible) — you’ll be more energized & have some time to mentally prepare for socializing
8. Set social boundaries. For example, if I have plans to stay in for the night, I give myself permission to turn down spontaneous hangouts. I also allow myself to have time limits for how long I stay at social events
9. Don’t be afraid to schedule a hangout in your home instead of going out (since going out = getting out of your comfort zone, then your friend should go out of their comfort zone for you, too)
10. Don’t take guilt-trips to heart; instead, see it as their way of saying they enjoy being with you
11. If you want to skip out on your friend’s party but feel guilty, try scheduling a one-on-one hangout with him/her — you can still show that you care but in your own way
12. Carve out alone time as a non-negotiable part of your schedule (you can schedule this weekly or even a month ahead) — Michelle Obama does it, so why not you?
13. Wake up early before work & give yourself at least 20 min. of solitude — you’ll be energized for the day
14. If you work in a highly social or toxic environment, carve out at least 10 min. of meditation when you arrive home from work — it’ll help you reset & make the most out of your night
15. If you don’t go outside for 2 or more days at a time, spend at least 30 min. every morning next to a well-lit window or try investing in a lamp (this is the one I use). This may seem silly, but it could help prevent SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) if you don’t see much sun throughout the day
16. If you start to feel lonely even though you love solitude, go out to a coffee shop or library (preferably one where you don’t know anyone)
17. If you need a change of environment after long periods of studying or working but don’t want to leave home, light a candle, incense, or get an essential oil diffuser — smell is the strongest sense & can be enough for you to feel a change in your environment
18. If your FOMO (fear of missing out) is stronger than your need for solitude, which tends to happen during summer for some introverts, schedule one extra hangout/week than normal to prevent it
I hope you found this helpful! Comment below with your favorite tip or any tips you have for me. If you enjoyed this, look out for my next blog post on time management tips for introverts, focusing on self-growth!
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