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I’ve been dipping my toes into the workshifting pool since 2009. It’s been an ideal set of circumstances for an introvert like me, as I work in a quiet space where I can control my daily dosage of interruption and interaction. Ideal, that is, until too much of a good thing becomes a bad thing.

Introverts need interaction, too. That is just human nature 101. We’re neither anti-social nor hermits, despite the stereotypes, and although we can work well within self-imposed solitary confinement, it’s not always what we should do.

Introverts who work in a standard office setting get their daily dosage of interaction by default. Introverts who workshift have it harder – it’s too easy to focus on a project or assignment and forget that there is an external world that we need to be part of, too!

So, after basking in every introvert’s dream for the past 3 years, I realized that I needed some balance. Sometimes, my workdays are intense, and I really can only focus on work. I don’t fight my introverted habits on those days as that would adversely affect my productivity. Other days, when my schedule is lighter, I remind myself to explore new spaces to workshift from, make time to see friends or volunteer. Herein lies the beauty of workshifting!

However, I still have not perfected this delicate work-life balance of being an introvert in an extrovert’s world. Some weeks I overcommit to work and social activities, to the point of mental and physical collapse! So, what do I do?

I nurture my introverted ways, spend time in my quiet office and appreciate the luxury of choice. Soon, I am refreshed and ready to dip my other toes back into the world where extroverts abound, learn as much from them as I can and take that newfound knowledge back to a quiet space to process in my head.

Photo credit: Dirk Dallas

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Natalya Sabga is a project management professional and operational efficiency expert turned author, consultant and executive education advisor. Fascinated by the study of human behavior, she has parlayed this into a successful writing career. Ms. Sabga is also the author of "From Secretary to CEO: A Guide to Climbing the Corporate Ladder Without Losing Your Identity" (2010). She is also the President of DNterprises, LLC - a firm specializing in project needs' analysis, and project management from implementation to operation. Ms. Sabga is currently working on her next non-fiction narrative, "A PMP's Guide to Project Managing Your Life," and authoring the blog 'ASK N'.
  • Kinggillen
  • http://www.odysen.com/ Matt

    Yeah, getting a balance is never easy.  Likewise, I’m sure extroverts probably get exhausted trying be an introvert.  Maybe you can look at introvert as being the creation time, extrovert as your sharing and new experience time, to which as you said, gets later reprocessed, back into thinking creation mode.  Something like that. 

  • Nicole

    I’m extroverted and I enjoy working from home because I distract myself walking around at work. The great thing about WFH is I can schedule interruption. I know my son gets home at 2:30 so I look forward to that. I schedule lunches, sometimes- many times- I walk down to the local coffee shop, or post office or store so I can get a dose of people. Its great. There are days however when I get no interaction and I thank the heavens for bad habits like FB