One of my biggest struggles so far in my creative career has been managing my introverted nature alongside my desire to grow, thrive, and succeed in my business and my work.
I crave quiet time. I thrive when I’m alone and I have the space to really dig deep and get the work done. I also love working one-on-one with my clients as their creative coach and mentor, and one of the questions people in my life always ask me is how I manage to balance my extremely introverted nature alongside the realities of my work and my schedule.
The truth is this: I love being a coach. I’m so grateful to have found a vocation and a career that I love, and the challenge of finding a routine and a schedule that works for me has been an interesting and enlightening journey along the way this past year - and one that has ultimately led to some serious personal growth and space to truly understand myself and how I work and function best.
I know I’m not the only introverted creative out there - so many of us choose to do our work online because it suits our introverted nature so much more than a busy office or team environment ever could. I recently shared a mini podcast episode on Building An Effective & Fulfilling Routine As A Creative, where I shared in-depth how I map out my months, weeks, and days in an intentional and purposeful way. Today I want to dig into that topic even deeper and share with you some of the biggest lessons I’ve learned as an introvert about creating a routine that gives me the space to thrive in my work without working against the realities of who I am and how I work best.
1. Understand yourself as an introvert
Not all introverts are made the same. You may even be an ambivert and switch between extroversion and introversion depending on your energy levels at the time. Understanding myself as an introvert, being okay with how my energy responds to different stimulus, and paying attention to what fuels me and what drains me along the way has been key to creating a routine that really works for me.
The first step to building an intentional, fulfilling, and effective routine as an introvert is to ask yourself:
- What do I need to respect about my introverted nature so I can be the best version of myself in my business and the work that I do?
- What drains my energy? What fuels my energy?
- What does my ideal day look like?
2. Hone in on your core values, goals, and intentions for this season in your life
The best routines change and evolve along the way. I honour my introverted nature and give myself space to thrive alongside it by really paying attention to what it is I’m trying to achieve during this current season in my life. Three questions for you:
- What core values are guiding you right now in your work and your life?
- What core goals are you working towards and making space for in this season?
- What are you intentions for this season? How do you want to feel along the way?
Keeping these at your core, listening to what it is you truly want to make space for, and focusing on your core priorities is how you can build a routine that not only honours your introverted nature but also fuels you along the way instead of draining you and leaving you with an empty tank.
3. Make space for your non-negotiables
I dig into this in more depth in the mini podcast episode (you can listen to it this way >>) but the main takeaway is the importance of prioritising what truly matters to us right now in our work and our lives. As an introvert I’ve found that my energy levels shape, define, and guide what it is I truly want and need from my creative work and life so it can be impactful, fulfilling, and sustainable along the way.
By honouring our introverted nature, we can choose non-negotiables that work alongside who it is we truly are and how it is we work and thrive best in our journey. Non-negotiables are the core things that you want and need to make space for in your routine right now - the secret is to be brave enough to cut out all the non-essential tasks and areas of focus so you can use your energy for only the things that truly matter to you in your journey.
When building an effective, fulfilling, and intentional routine, non-negotiables are how we spend our days doing the work and living the life that truly fills us with fulfilment and joy along the way.
4. Give yourself recovery time
Recovery time is essential for me if I want to stay healthy, happy, and productive along the way. As in introvert, I find my strongest energy through working solo and digging deep into the ideas and work that matters most to me. As an introverted coach, what I find so fulfilling is how much energy I get from doing deep and intricate work with my clients together one-on-one, but I also have to be realistic about the realities of my introverted energy and how it can become drained along the way.
I honour and respect this energy by setting boundaries and buffers in my routine that give me space for ample recovery time. I only have client sessions on certain days of the week, and at least once a week I try and have an entire day away from my laptop and internet life so I reconnect with the world around me - and most importantly, my own thoughts and wellbeing too.
Little things really do make all the difference. Waking up just that little bit earlier so I have space for quiet time in the morning; taking breaks in-between coaching sessions to unwind and enjoy some silence and rest; getting off the grid completely when possible to detox and recharge - recovery time is a must when your creative life and work demands a lot of attention, time and energy from you throughout the week.
5. You have permission to do business quietly and on your own terms
Here’s the biggest lesson of all: it’s absolutely a-okay to be a quiet, introverted business owner. You don’t need to have a loud, extroverted, charismatic personal brand to stand out online and do deep and meaningful work with your business. You have permission to step back, honour who you are, and do business quietly and on your own terms.
As an introvert, trying to fit myself into a mould of business that doesn’t reflect who I really am is a surefire why to find myself burnt out, uninspired, and unfulfilled with my work. Your introversion can be the key to unlocking your own strengths along the way - the more you understand who you are and how you thrive and work best, the more you can channel that into the work you do and the way you show up and have impact online.
You can still create content that resonates and connects. You can still network in a way that doesn’t feeling draining but instead leads to meaningful relationships and connections, and you can still build a routine that enables you to thrive in your business and do impactful and fulfilling work along the way.
Here’s to living our creative life on our own terms and honouring who we are every single step of the way...
Every Sunday I send thoughtful insights to my community through Weekly Letters. If you're not already on the list, you can sign up below to receive this weekends letter straight to your inbox.