Introverts and extroverts have different preferences when it comes to working styles. While extroverts thrive in highly social and stimulating environments, these environments can feel draining and exhaustive for introverts. If you have a more introverted personality type, you will find it easier to be productive in quiet and less stimulating environments. The problem, however, is that we live and work in a world set for extroverts. Yet, introverts can still take many steps to work in a way that suits them best. Let’s outline some productivity tips for introverts working at home or the office.
Create a Quiet Working Environment
Firstly, as an introvert, you will know that outside noises and constant chatter can affect your ability to focus and complete the task at hand. This is why you need to create as quiet an environment as possible. The steps you take to achieve this can differ, depending on where you’re working. So let’s explore some possible solutions based on various working environments.
If You’re Working in the Office
As an introvert, you may pay special attention to a company’s office environment before accepting a job offer. Not that this means an office will be optimally quiet. However, if you have the option, make use of dedicated quiet spaces and noise-canceling headphones when you need to engage in deeply focused work. If your work does not have quiet spaces or does not allow the use of headphones, consider whether working from home a few days a week could be an option.
If You’re Working From Home
When working from home, you of course have the freedom to design your working environment however you want. Try the following:
- Use noise-canceling headphones to block out the sound from other people in the house or the noise outside.
- Work in the quietest room, free from any distractions, which helps you focus solely on your work.
- Speak with others you live with (family members, friends, housemates) and let them know about your need for quiet during certain times of the day.
If You’re Working Remotely Outside the Home
If you have the ability to work remotely anywhere you want, it can present different options. For example, some coffee shops can be well-suited to introverts. These will be places that are big and spacious, ensuring you’re not surrounded by loud chatter. Introvert-friendly coffee shops will also have tables away from the coffee machines and will either have non-invasive music playing or music at a low volume.
You may also want to work abroad or when traveling for extended periods of time. In this case, you should find peaceful places to work from, such as hotels and Airbnbs in quiet neighborhoods that you aren’t sharing with others.
Getting the Right Amount of Social Interaction
All of us need a certain amount of social interaction in the day, but extroverts and introverts differ in how much interaction they prefer. Extroverts tend to feel energized in conversation and can talk for hours on end, whereas introverts have a limited supply of social energy, and after too much socializing, need to recharge on their own. Introverts also tend to prefer one-on-one conversations on highly engaging topics rather than continuous small talk.
Too much social interaction can affect an introvert’s productivity, so introverts should utilize the following tips to ensure they don’t drain their energy.
- Limit small talk and prioritize deeper conversations.
- Don’t feel guilty for not talking as much as other co-workers. There’s nothing wrong with having different preferences, especially if staying true to these preferences allows you to work more effectively.
- Save most of your social energy for the rest of the day when work is over. Otherwise, you may use up your energy reserves in the day, making it harder to focus on work.
- Be willing to decline invites, disengage from conversations, or go off to work on your own (doing so politely, of course). As an introvert, you will find you often work best during time alone.
By implementing these productivity tips for introverts, you will be able to focus more on your work and whatever else you happen to set your mind to. Remember: introversion is a personality trait, not a problem to be corrected. Some of the most successful people are introverts. And their success comes from staying true to themselves. Once you find your comfortability with yourself, take it further and learn how to make a positive impact in the world.