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