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How to Be an Introvert and Work From Home (Without Becoming a Hermit)

by Ashley on June 12, 2014 · 13 comments

how to be an introvert

You decided to start working for yourself because you wanted to help people and be able to do it on your own terms.

In the beginning you were totally inspired. You were excited about it. And you were motivated beyond your wildest dreams.

You even woke up jazzed and ready to dive into work each morning. I mean, Mondays were your favorite day of the week, and if that doesn’t say something, I don’t know what will!

Coaching calls from your laptop in your home office? Yes, please. Writing blog posts from your couch? Heck, yeah! No co-workers to distract you while you’re busy changing the world? That’s what I’m talking about.

And the best part was that since you’re an introvert, working from home seemed liked the perfect way to balance your need for “alone time”.

It sounded perfect.

But somewhere along the way, things changed.

These days you’re exhausted more often than not, and you have no idea how you got that way.

Suddenly, instead of busting out your happy dance every time you schedule a meeting with potential client, you start dreading those Skype chats, wondering how you can possibly have one more conversation about your services.

Your enthusiasm is no where to be found.

Somehow you’ve completely run yourself into the ground… and you’re kind of becoming a hermit.

You haven’t left your house in days and you spend most evenings catching up on Pretty Little Liars with a glass of Merlot.

You still want to help people.  But finding the energy?  That’s become nearly impossible.

If this sounds like you, don’t worry. I used to be the same way. And lucky for you, I’ve learned some tricks that can help us self-employed introverts.

How to Be an Introvert and Work From Home (Without Becoming a Hermit)

Practice smart networking

Face-to-face networking can feel super draining for introverts. Dive into your social media networks and online communities as a place to build relationships, instead of forcing yourself to attend local events that leaves you feeling exhausted. You’ll still be connecting with colleagues and growing your audience, without draining your energy. Win-win.

Plan lunch dates

It may seem counter-intuitive for an introvert to schedule plans with another person during the work day, especially if you work from home, but that’s exactly why it made the list. You could chat with a friend you met on Twitter via Skype or, if you’re feeling especially bold, meet a friend at a local cafe. And look at that, you’re out of the house!

Build in downtime

As an introvert, you have a bigger need for time by yourself to recharge. Block off times in your day for reading personal development book, practicing yoga, or taking a walk around the block. This will leave your feeling refueled and you’ll have more energy to give to your business and social events in the evening.

Write more

A key characteristic of introverts is that we express ourselves better through writing, rather than speaking. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or like your energy is getting low, grab a notebook and start journaling. Putting pen to paper will help you reconnect with yourself and sort through your thoughts in a way that doesn’t drain you.

Hopefully this gave you a few ideas about how you can run a successful business while still honoring your introversion. The goal is pay attention to your energy, and if when you notice it getting low, find ways to take care of yourself. Then you’ll feel refreshed and able to refocus on your business, or even go out and enjoy fun things IRL (novel concept, right?!).

P.S. If you want to learn more about managing your energy, I’d love for you to join me and Hannah Braime of BecomingWhoYouAre.net next Tuesday as we host a live chat on Living as an Introvert in an Extroverted World.

LIVING AS AN INTROVERT

 

[photo credit: brandoncwarren]

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Lix June 15, 2014 at 12:16 pm

This is really good advice in that way where I already KNOW all these things are good for me, from experience, but I somehow forget to do them! I need to take better care of myself. :(

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Tanja @ Conscious Introvert Success June 15, 2014 at 5:50 pm

Some awesome advice here, Ashley: looking forward to sharing it with my introvert tribe :-)

I have to agree with Lix, too – sometimes it’s one thing to know what we need to do, and another to do it. Will you and the awesome Hannah be talking about practical support strategies/techniques folks can use to make sure they actually do more of the stuff they need to?

Blessings

TANJA

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Julia Barnickle June 16, 2014 at 2:13 pm

What good advice – thank you! I’ve definitely noticed myself becoming more of a hermit over the years. I do network online, and I try to arrange to meet people “IRL” every now and then – and especially in the middle of the working week, because it feels very decadent! I’m making a mental note about more downtime and writing, though – as Lix and Tanja both say, it’s easy to forget about the things that are self-nurturing. :-)

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Rachel Gadiel June 17, 2014 at 7:28 am

My gosh, I feel like you wrote this blog post just for me – thank you!! Since I’ve begun working from home (which I love!) I have definitely become more of a hermit which is not good at all. I think I will be planning more lunch dates + making more of an effort to write more + network more online – great tips! Love your blog!

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Kate Cave June 17, 2014 at 10:55 am

Yes, I’ll put my hand up to being a bit of a hermit too, but I’m a really happy hermit ;)

I agree with everything you’ve said and these days I do take more downtime for myself and trust that everything will get done in the end, no more burning the midnight oil.

I will share this with my HSP and introvert tribe,

Thank you!

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Kathryn Hall June 17, 2014 at 4:19 pm

Some great tips here. It’s so easy to not see anyone when you’re an introvert working from home! I’ve found that I’m always really ready to see people by the time the weekend comes round but I’ve also made a much more conscious effort to see people throughout the week more recently. Thanks for sharing!

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Mac September 17, 2014 at 8:11 am

Nice tips Kindly post more so I could get some clear idea about the human quality while working from home.

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