Time Management Tips for Introverts: Career

There are many career-oriented introverts out there. Willing to put their career first and their needs last in order to land the next job/promotion. Often this means pretending to be an extrovert.

Engage in small talk or make a grand speech? As long as it makes me look good in front of the boss! Attend every networking event? I can’t miss the opportunity to meet important people in my field!

“Making it” in your career is all about sacrifice, right?

Yes, your career may require sacrifice. But pretending you’re an extrovert is not sustainable. It’s okay to do it every now and then. But there will always be a new project you want to lead or another promotion. And you will burn out.

You can get out of your comfort zone & grow while still being considerate of your needs. 

Here are my top 10 time management tips for career-oriented introverts that help you work smarter, not harder. As I said in the self-care version of this post: “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.

 

Pretending you're an extrovert is not sustainable.

 

1. Plan focus blocks of “mindful” activities, like studying or working on projects, before social events — this ensures your energy levels are at their peak for optimal focus

 

2. Be in solitude before an important event that requires focus (exam, quiz, meeting, interview, work, etc.), you’ll save energy & avoid getting flustered by other people

 

3. Schedule a job interview on a day you don’t plan to socialize & at a time you have the most energy (for me, it’s 1.5-2 hours after I wake up)

 

4. Set aside one day to have all your weekly meetings, especially if you get social anxiety — you don’t want to get anxious every day if you can prevent it

 

5. If you need to make a speech or presentation, ask to go first. If you wait too long, your energy will be low from being around others & it’ll be harder to fight anxiety/nerves

 

6. Arrive at least 20 min early before you make a speech/presentation or attend a networking event — you’ll give yourself enough time to take in the environment instead of getting overwhelmed by a room full of people

 

7. You don’t have to attend every networking event. If you feel like you’re missing out on opportunities, plan to go to the next conference & use it as a networking binge

 

8. There will always be a social event after every meeting/networking event. That’s just how extroverts unwind. It’s okay if your version of unwinding means skipping out on the social event. You’ll thank yourself later

 

9. If you hate networking events, join an organization that aligns with your career goals & aim for a leadership position (big or small, whatever you can handle) for 3 reasons: 1) You’ll incorporate networking into your schedule by working with others that have similar career goals 2) You’ll learn more about your strengths & weaknesses through working in a team 3) A leadership position on your resume shows you’re adaptable & willing to get out of your comfort zone

 

10. Keep a small journal (I use the Day One app) & schedule at least 5 min. of daily reflection at work/school during your break and also after you get home. Quickly jot down: 1) how you feel 2) your energy level 3) any significant event (a win or a setback) & how you reacted. Getting this out on paper will help you from getting stuck in reflection mode. You’ll keep track of how your career affects you, so you can focus on how to make it work for you.

 

Being aware of when your energy levels are at their peak (and at their lowest) is key for time management.

 

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Comment below if you found this helpful! I’d also love to hear any time management tips that have worked for you!

 

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Scheduling your day for success? Time management is tough. It’s even tougher for introverts who get drained from social interaction. Check out this post for schedule organization tips & career advice for introverts!

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16 Comments

  1. July 23, 2018 / 6:59 pm

    I’ve never even thought about #3 before, but it’s honestly so true. Whenever I have interviews at the end of the day I feel drained already, which obviously doesn’t make for a good interview.

    Great tips! x

    Michelle
    dressingwithstyle-s.com

    • Alexis
      Author
      July 24, 2018 / 12:28 pm

      I feel you, it’s so hard to be 100% at an interview when you’re exhausted from the day. So glad you found this helpful!

  2. July 23, 2018 / 7:03 pm

    This speaks right to my introverted heart! I’m a teacher where I have to be “on” all the time. Sometimes for me it’s about closing my door during lunch time and eating alone with some calming music. We definitely have to think outside the box for conserving our energy!

    • Alexis
      Author
      July 24, 2018 / 12:35 pm

      I’m so glad this reached you! That’s awesome you found a way to recharge 🙂 you really have to work extra hard as an introverted teacher! Thank you so much for all you do <3

  3. July 23, 2018 / 7:28 pm

    These are great tips! I especially lean into #2 and have found it helps so much to quiet myself to give myself time to plan and prepare. Thanks for sharing!

    • Alexis
      Author
      July 24, 2018 / 12:32 pm

      Definitely! If I walk into class/work without any alone time in the morning, I always feel rushed & unprepared. Glad you found what works for you!!

  4. whatasweetjourney
    July 23, 2018 / 7:47 pm

    Great tips! I seriously feel like you wrote this for me.

    • Alexis
      Author
      July 24, 2018 / 12:35 pm

      Awe thanks so much for reaching out! Happy to hear this spoke to you <3

  5. Misty
    July 23, 2018 / 8:19 pm

    10 has helped me tremendously at work and home. I wish I’d started sooner. Definitely want to try time blocking as well! Thanks for sharing

    • Alexis
      Author
      July 24, 2018 / 12:40 pm

      That’s so awesome you reflect on how you feel throughout the day 🙂 it’s life-saving!!

      In one of my other posts, I recommend reading Manage Your Day-to-Day ( https://thepetiteintrovert.com/adulting-books/ ). They talk about focus blocks & say to start with 1-hr blocks and add 15 min. every 2 weeks! The optimal time for a focus block is around 90-min. intervals. Hope this helps!

  6. ivana11sk
    July 24, 2018 / 3:09 am

    Focus blocks and journaling are so beneficial. Great tips 🙂

    • Alexis
      Author
      July 24, 2018 / 12:41 pm

      So happy you found this helpful 🙂

  7. July 24, 2018 / 8:31 am

    What a great post 🙂 Saving this to read properly later. Thank you

    • Alexis
      Author
      July 24, 2018 / 12:44 pm

      Hope you enjoy 🙂

  8. thecozycompass
    July 24, 2018 / 11:38 pm

    These are all great tips! As an introvert I never considered how important it is to schedule important interviews/speaking events at an earlier time when I am less drained by being around people. Thanks for sharing!

  9. August 22, 2018 / 11:27 pm

    This is amazing.. I think this gave me a head start for the upcoming busy season. Time management is key 🔑

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