Let’s face facts; at one time or another, we’ve probably all been described as either introverted or extroverted by a friend, loved one or colleague.
However, these terms are commonly misunderstood, particularly when it comes to the characteristics often ascribed to introverts. After all, introverts are often perceived as being shy or withdrawn, creating a scenario where individuals with this personality type may be overlooked for workplace promotions or advanced leadership roles.
This is a big deal, especially when you consider that an estimated 50% of the global population can be accurately described as being introverted. It’s also detrimental to the business world as a whole, as introverts bring a unique set of attributes to the workplace and can thrive as successful and creative leaders when given the chance.
So, here are three purposeful ways to boost your own productivity as an introvert and realise your full potential as an employee!
Preserve Peace and Clarity of Mind
While extroverts are thought to draw their energy and focus from social interaction, introverts channels theirs from within.
This is an interesting distinction between the two personality types, and one that explains why introverts react differently to stimuli and may occasionally withdraw from group conversations.
This also hints at one of the main strengths of introverts in the workplace, as they’re less likely to be distracted by others and capable of focusing intently on individual tasks from inception to completion.
To make the most of this innate characteristic, however, it’s important that introverts look to preserve their peace of clarity of mind from the moment that they wake up in the morning. This will enable you to retain optimal levels of focus throughout the day and boost your productivity in the process.
This represents a huge challenge in the digital age, with a study conducted by IDC Research (and commissioned by Facebook) revealing that nearly 80% of respondents checked their phones within 15 minutes of waking up.
By avoiding this type of mindless distraction, however, you can maintain your mental clarity as an introvert and stay focused no matter how early you start in the morning!
Identify Suitable Job Roles and Map Out Your Own Career Plan
We often place our career growth and development in the hands of employers, making it difficult to achieve our long-term objectives through hard work alone.
As we’ve already said, introverts can find this even more challenging, due to their perceived shyness and the other misconceptions that surround this personality type.
There are steps that you can take as an introvert to optimise your chances of success, however, including identifying suitable and progressive job roles either with your existing employer or an alternative firm.
Interestingly, the unique attributes of introverts arguably make them ideal for senior sales roles. The reason for this is simple, as introverts have a fundamental need for deep and meaningful interactions with others, which in turn encourages them actively engage individuals and cultivate far stronger relationships over time.
This can translate into an excellent rapport between an introverted sales rep or account manager and their clients, leading to higher and more sustainable levels of turnover over the course of the relationship.
As an introvert, you should also prioritise any interim manager job roles that are opened up by your employer.
This type of position requires a specific leadership skill set that’s ideally suited to introverts, with their innate ability to listen, adapt and manage relationships capable of providing stability and clarity even as a business undergoes a significant period of transition.
By identifying these specific job roles as they emerge on the market, introverts can access opportunities that are tailormade to suit their skills and assume greater control of their career development in the process.
Organise Your Workload and Factor in Small (but Regular) Breaks
Despite their impressive levels of focus and concentration, introverts can occasionally find themselves overwhelmed by a constant barrage of meetings, emails and the everyday hustle and bustle of office life.
This can be particularly problematic as the day wears on, so as an introvert you must strive to optimize your productivity by organising your workload and scheduling small but frequent breaks wherever the precise terms of your employment allows.
There are various time management techniques that make such allowances, including the famous Pomodoro Technique that was developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s.
In simple terms, this method uses a timer to break down tasks into intervals, and typically individuals will separate intense, 25-minute bursts of work with short, five-minute breaks.
This type of time management technique is ideal for introverts, who can use their sharp focus to optimise productivity during bursts of work while also benefiting from much-needed breaks away from the constant blur of the typical open-plan office.
Additionally, you should consider scheduling your most challenging and time-intensive tasks for the beginning of the day, as it’s during this time that your mind will be at its sharpest and most engaged.
The Last Word
So there you have it; three tips to help optimise your productivity as an introvert and achieve the type of long-term career success that your crave!
Above all else, embracing and leveraging your innate characteristics can help you to realise your full potential in the workplace, while adding immeasurable value to your employer.