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Are you an introvert who wants to be productive and still manage your energy?

This episode is for you! David talks with guest Mariella Franker to discover how to take advantage of your inner strengths, such as being able to concentrate deeply on one thing at a time. Learn how to identify when you’ve reached the limits of your energy and need some restorative downtime. Get tips on staying energized throughout the day in a way that works for you. Listen now and start becoming the most productive version of yourself!

– – –
Mariella Franker, Ph.D., supports introverted solopreneurs in getting clarity about which actions to take so that they can be the best version of themselves without being held back by low energy. After years of “playing the part” in her work and trying to make the most of her time by fitting in extra things in all the nooks and crannies of the day, she felt burned out, lost and disconnected. She knew she could add more value to the world but didn’t know how. Then she learned more about herself and what it really means to be an introvert. She started to work more with her natural strengths and created habits that support her personal needs.

Now, she’s a certified Natural Advantage® productivity coach. She’s co-founder of the Science and Medical Writers Network in the Benelux, Associate Coach at De Succesvolle Introvert, and CEO of The Franker Message. She’s the host of Productive Introvert Community Podcast and has been featured in places like the European Medical Writers Association, Making Money online podcast, and MarieTV. She lives in the Netherlands with her husband and son. On most days, you’ll find her working in her little cabin office, hanging out with her family, or puttering around her home or garden.

Note: The analogy of a map with landmarks that guides you towards what makes you effortlessly brilliant comes from Marloes Bouwmeester, founder and inventor of Natural Advantage:  https://www.naturaladvantage.global/

Contact Mariella:

Website:  thefrankermessage.com/
Free Training Bundle: 
thefrankermessage.com/subscribe
Productive Introvert Community Podcast
Social Media: 
LinkedIn

Books mentioned in this episode:
The Introvert Advantage – Marti Olsen Laney

Contact the host of the Quiet and Strong Podcast: 

David Hall

Author, Speaker, Educator, Podcaster

quietandstrong.com

Gobio.link/quietandstrong

david [at] quietandstrong.com

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Minding Your Time: Time Management, Productivity, and Success, Especially for Introverts

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Podcast Transcript

00;00;00;02 – 00;00;30;12

Mariella Franker

I like to think of it is the thing that that makes you effortlessly brilliant at what you do. And it’s often those things that we overlook. But when you’re aware of that and like your your map and the landmarks that you that are important to you, it becomes so much easier to get that context that you need so that you can reach your goals and be productive.

00;00;31;25 – 00;00;53;16

David Hall

Hello and welcome to Episode 109 of the Quiet and Strong Podcast, especially for introverts. I’m your host, David Hall, the creator of quietandstrong.com. It’s a weekly podcast dedicated to understanding the strengths and needs of introverts. Introversion is not something to fix, but to be embraced. Normally we’ll air each episode on a monday. Be sure to subscribe on your favorite platform.

00;00;53;19 – 00;01;22;02

David Hall

Leave a review. That would mean a lot to me. Tell a friend about the podcast. Help get the word out there that introversion is a beautiful thing. Dr. Mariella Franca supports introverted solopreneur in getting clarity about which actions to take so they can be the best version of themselves without being held back by low energy. After years of playing the part in her work and trying to make the most of her time by fitting extra things into all the nooks and crannies of the day, she felt burned out, lost and disconnected.

00;01;22;17 – 00;01;47;19

David Hall

She knew she could add more value to the world, but didn’t know how. Then she learned more about herself and what it really means to be an introvert. She started to work more with her natural strengths and create habits to support her personal needs. Now she’s a certified Natural Advantage productivity coach. She’s co-founder of the Science and Medical Writers Network and Benelux associates coach at the successful introvert and CEO of The Franker Message.

00;01;48;05 – 00;02;09;29

David Hall

She’s the host of the Productive Introvert Community podcast and has been featured in places like European Medical Writers Association Making Money Online Podcast and Marie TV. She lives in the Netherlands with her husband and son. On most days, you’ll find her working in a little cabin office, hanging out with their family or putting a round in her home or garden.

00;02;10;21 – 00;02;16;05

David Hall

All right. I am excited for my guest today. Mario. Mario, welcome to the Quiet and Strong podcast.

00;02;16;29 – 00;02;19;08

Mariella Franker

Thank you so much for having me. David, it’s a pleasure.

00;02;20;13 – 00;02;38;13

David Hall

And we recently were on a panel together through introvert, you talking about introverts and productivity. And that is a big passion of ours because we want to be productive. We want to get the things done that we want to do. But the approach is definitely different for introverts, right?

00;02;39;26 – 00;02;42;05

Mariella Franker

In my experience, at least 100%.

00;02;43;14 – 00;02;55;18

David Hall

So we will get into that in all the great work you do around that. But before we do, tell us about how you discovered your introvert and how you learned to embrace that.

00;02;55;21 – 00;03;17;29

Mariella Franker

Yeah. So this is always an interesting question because sometimes it’s difficult to tell the difference between what feels really natural to you and things that you’ve learned that maybe you’re good at, but they don’t necessarily come really natural to you. So in my case, I probably always knew that I was an introvert. I just didn’t know the term for it.

00;03;17;29 – 00;03;47;05

Mariella Franker

I didn’t know what it really meant. So I grew up in in South America in a country called Suriname. And Surinamese culture is a very warm culture. Large gatherings are very common, and people love to sit together. And I tell stories. And I was typically the kid at those large gatherings that would sit next to my mom and color or listen to adults talk instead of going off to play with the other kids.

00;03;47;19 – 00;04;10;03

Mariella Franker

So in that sense, I always knew that I wasn’t that type of person that liked to really mingle a lot. I knew that I like to listen to people. I knew that I preferred like more solitary activities, like coloring, drawing, painting. And I knew that I had that that rich inner life and always, often some fantasy world in my head.

00;04;11;27 – 00;04;33;10

Mariella Franker

But I think the thing that was most confusing to me growing up is that I really liked I really like people. I really like to be with people, but I didn’t really know how to connect with them because I would usually just observe and not really, you know, engage in conversation. And that did make me feel on some level like something was wrong with me.

00;04;33;29 – 00;04;45;10

Mariella Franker

And it wasn’t until much, much later that I learned about the term introvert and what it actually meant. And because I bought into all the misconceptions, I didn’t really know what it meant when I was younger.

00;04;46;06 – 00;04;47;04

David Hall

How did you learn the term?

00;04;48;16 – 00;04;55;06

Mariella Franker

So I learned a term I read in the book from Mary Alison called The Interpreter Advantage.

00;04;55;16 – 00;04;55;28

David Hall

Yes.

00;04;56;12 – 00;05;20;25

Mariella Franker

Book. Yeah. Great book. So much recognition like from the first, I think introduction immediate recognition. And that’s when it started to to grow from me like, oh, there isn’t something wrong with me. You know, other people also have this, this mix of wanting to be with people and wanting to be by themselves. So it was it that was really kind of opened my world.

00;05;21;12 – 00;05;40;04

David Hall

Yeah. That’s we will definitely get into some myths, but that is definitely one that we don’t like people. It’s kind of crazy. I was talking to somebody yesterday and they were saying the same thing that that was a big myth for them and they like to talk to everybody. And, you know, I pressed her just a little bit and I’m like, okay, but do you like small talk?

00;05;40;04 – 00;05;52;23

David Hall

No, no, I hate small talk. I go deep right away and I’m like, Yeah, oh, yes. Yeah. We love to have deep conversations. I’m totally enjoying this conversation. We just we don’t like small talk that lasts forever and lots of other things.

00;05;52;23 – 00;05;54;29

Mariella Franker

But anyway, dove right in.

00;05;55;12 – 00;06;05;19

David Hall

Yeah. So. So you figured all that out. Now you’re helping other introverts, especially with productivity. What are some strengths that you have yourself as a introvert or that you’ve seen in others that you’re coaching?

00;06;06;21 – 00;06;27;18

Mariella Franker

MM Yeah. So in terms of strengths. So like when we talk about generally for introverts, one of our biggest strengths is observing and reflecting and kind of coming up with, you know, our creativity lives within that reflection process.

00;06;29;23 – 00;07;05;06

Mariella Franker

But what we’ve what we also learned and what I’m learning through my coaching and what I help people with is that underneath those sort of general characteristics that we have as introverts, everyone has their unique problem solving ability. Basically. And what that means is you kind of you can envision it like having a map and we all have our map of how we navigate the world.

00;07;05;18 – 00;07;26;09

Mariella Franker

But everyone’s map is a little bit different depending on what you pay attention to. And when you follow your map, things are easy. They’re easy to find, and you can get into that state of flow. So in my coaching programs, we discover each person’s unique map, so to speak. And I can give you a couple of examples of of what that looks like for people.

00;07;27;27 – 00;07;59;11

Mariella Franker

So for an example that comes to mind, if one of my clients is we discover that she’s very good at connecting ing with what people need to get, what people need in order to get them what they want. And when she makes this connection, a plan like effortlessly appears in her mind. She decided basically nothing more, and she can adapt to the situations and take action when like Windows of Opportunity presented themselves to help these people.

00;08;00;27 – 00;08;26;02

Mariella Franker

But this was something that she thought everybody did, but it was really something very unique to her. And I can give you another example to contrast that, if that if that helps. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. So someone else that I was that I coach, she was very good at organizing things in an efficient way so that she could achieve whatever goal she was working on.

00;08;26;29 – 00;08;45;23

Mariella Franker

So she would analyze in advance, like, who isn’t involved, what does everyone want? And from there, she would go on to, okay, what do I need to do? What are resources that are available to reach this goal? And along the way, she she check in a very natural way, go back to the people and check in with them.

00;08;46;08 – 00;09;07;19

Mariella Franker

So she got everyone aligned and if she needed to adjust anything and once she had that, the plan formed and she could just execute. So it’s very different way of solving potentially, even if they would work on the same problem, they would both come with a very good solution, but achieved in a very different way.

00;09;08;14 – 00;09;10;09

David Hall

Right. And these are both introverts, correct?

00;09;10;26 – 00;09;12;20

Mariella Franker

These are both introverts, yeah. Yeah.

00;09;12;26 – 00;09;31;06

David Hall

And that’s that’s so important. It’s because we’re not all the same. We have different gifts. We have some things in common, like you said, you know, we’re good observers. But with that observation, it’s not just observation, it’s the reflection behind it. And I think that’s probably common to most introverts. But, you know, not everything is we do definitely still have our different gifts.

00;09;31;06 – 00;09;46;24

David Hall

So, yes, those are great examples. And like you said in the first one, sometimes we’re so close to our own gifts that we don’t realize, oh, everybody is like this. This is something that I need to share because it’s my gift that people need, you know, and that everybody can’t do this kind of thing.

00;09;47;14 – 00;10;17;21

Mariella Franker

Yeah, exactly. I like to think of it is the thing that that makes you effortlessly brilliant at what you do. And it’s often those things that we overlook. But when you’re aware of that and like you’re on your map and the landmarks at you that are important to you, it becomes so much easier to to get that context that you need so that you can reach your goals and be productive in your work without feeling like it’s very draining or very hard.

00;10;17;28 – 00;10;34;26

David Hall

Yeah, if we’re using our gifts, it it can be effortless, like you’re saying. And and the other thing is, we need to realize, yeah, I have some gifts here, but we also need to realize other people do too. And so we can help them with the same that. Yeah, that’s your gift that you need to use and that’s, you know, that’s definitely what you do in your coaching, right.

00;10;35;10 – 00;11;12;25

Mariella Franker

Yeah. So yeah, that’s, that’s a really interesting thought because I think I was always looking for a way to use my natural gifts in my work. So it’s difficult to explain in in hindsight because it’s about me, right? Because you’re so close to it, it’s more difficult to see. But yeah, but as far as I understand it now, is that for me to go through my process, I need to have certain things in place and my natural gift is also very much geared towards the other person.

00;11;13;04 – 00;11;35;10

Mariella Franker

So they’re there to kind of pitfalls with people who have that type of of natural gift is the first thing is if we don’t have all the context that we need, we get stuck. I think especially when you’re trying to find out what does this person need? There is there are layers on top of that, you know, communication.

00;11;36;01 – 00;12;00;25

Mariella Franker

It’s understanding that person’s context, how to get that into information. And the other part is that oftentimes we forget ourselves. So and we we tend to overfocus on the other, you know, the context of the other person. And we don’t take into account our own energy management or something like and things like that.

00;12;01;26 – 00;12;11;21

David Hall

So you busted one myth already that, you know. Yes, we like people, you know. Is there another introvert myth that you’ve you’ve heard that you want to dispel today?

00;12;13;06 – 00;12;23;22

Mariella Franker

Yeah. So I think that the the myth that really needs dispelling, in my opinion, is that introverts are low energy people.

00;12;24;04 – 00;12;24;10

David Hall

Okay.

00;12;24;13 – 00;12;28;23

Mariella Franker

And so, yeah, it’s you know, this.

00;12;29;02 – 00;12;29;28

David Hall

Podcast, right?

00;12;30;06 – 00;12;36;27

Mariella Franker

I just listen to you, right? Yeah. Actually, I talk about that a lot. A lot.

00;12;36;27 – 00;12;36;29

David Hall

Of.

00;12;37;20 – 00;13;04;27

Mariella Franker

Guys. Yeah. All the time because it’s a huge thing. It’s a huge themes for for introvert especially the introvert said, I work with and as you and your listeners probably know, most interviews, we tend to get drained energetically when we interact all the time. We know especially interacting with lots of people so it can be hard for people to interact even though they may want to make those connections.

00;13;05;25 – 00;13;37;02

Mariella Franker

And I really used to think of myself as as low energy. I used to use it as a and as an excuse, as a disclaimer all the time to not do things or to not go to events. And typically but what I what I now know is that integrates we typically experience low energy because of two reasons either we don’t recharge enough or not in a way that suits that individual person or we’re not doing enough of the things that feel fulfilling.

00;13;37;27 – 00;13;56;27

David Hall

Yeah, exactly. That’s a really good way to look at it. I think the question is, you just got to ask yourself, what what is it that is fulfilling? What do I want? And it’s not like you’re saying it’s not you don’t use introversion as an excuse, but you use it more as a framework, like, how do I get what I want?

00;13;56;27 – 00;14;07;21

David Hall

How do I use my gifts and make sure I’m taking care of my needs? How do I do that to get what I want? But it’s not an excuse, you know, it’s just I’m going to go about this a little bit differently.

00;14;08;19 – 00;14;14;02

Mariella Franker

Yeah, exactly. Yeah. Yeah. Introversion is not something that needs to be overcome.

00;14;15;02 – 00;14;18;13

David Hall

Yes. You can’t write. You can’t even if you’re.

00;14;18;13 – 00;14;21;12

Mariella Franker

Well, some sometimes you could try. I mean you.

00;14;21;12 – 00;14;21;25

David Hall

Could try.

00;14;22;03 – 00;14;22;04

Mariella Franker

A.

00;14;22;06 – 00;14;40;20

David Hall

Time. Yeah, me too. Yeah, I, I’ll say that you get it’s it’s not a it’s not effective. So you’re a fellow podcaster. Tell us about the Productive Introvert Community podcast and why you decided to start that. And how is productivity different for introverts versus extroverts?

00;14;41;12 – 00;15;06;05

Mariella Franker

Hmm. Yeah. So first of all, why I decided to start it. Podcasts have always been one of my favorite ways to learn new things and to find mentors. So most of my mentors, I’ve never actually met them. I, I’ve heard them on an interview or on a podcast. So when I started my coaching business, I always knew that I was something that I was interested to do.

00;15;06;05 – 00;15;32;21

Mariella Franker

And especially if you have an online business like me and some of my clients do as well, one of the biggest challenges is to find formats and channels that that work for you, right? Something that you’re both excited and happy to do. And that also allows you to reach your people and to make those genuine connections. So I tried a lot of different things in the past years and podcasting really takes is the one thing that ticks all those boxes.

00;15;32;21 – 00;16;07;07

Mariella Franker

For me. And your second question was about how productivity is different, right, for introverts and extroverts. So I think the main things that make productivity different for introverts revolve around energy management on one hand, and then that natural process that we talked about before, on the other hand, the natural way that you solve problems. So being productive, it’s not about delivering work constantly.

00;16;07;07 – 00;16;17;10

Mariella Franker

Right. I think you also you mentioned this as well on one of your previous episodes like Productive does not equal busy. Busy does not equal productive.

00;16;17;10 – 00;16;18;07

David Hall

Right, right.

00;16;18;11 – 00;16;47;01

Mariella Franker

Right. And the thing that a lot of people overlook and especially for introverts around energy management, is that it’s about finding that harmony between resting and producing so that you can actually continue to be creative and deliver optimally over time, not just one person. And you you crash basically. And I like to compare this to physical exercise, actually, because that’s easy to to to visualize.

00;16;47;10 – 00;17;19;16

Mariella Franker

Like we never expect someone who’s just run a sprint to just keep on sprinting and just just keep going nonstop. No. You will always arrest after having excited yourself physically and then replenish, you know. So if you want to perform at a high level in anything, you need to be really vigilant about resting and replenishing accordingly and finding that harmony between the harmony between resting, producing.

00;17;20;01 – 00;17;48;00

Mariella Franker

So the natural process of extra raises a little bit differently at different. And we can go into details about that if you want. But the main reason why energy is a is less of an issue for extroverts is because they typically replenish through that interaction with other people. So they already get that energy when they’re active and talking and, you know, being around a lot of people.

00;17;48;13 – 00;18;14;20

Mariella Franker

So in our day to day especially, you know, in the in Western society, it was a bit different during the pandemic and under normal circumstances and getting back to that way again now we interact a lot actually, maybe. Well, I take that back during the pandemic it was there was less direct contact, but we were much more online.

00;18;14;28 – 00;18;35;25

Mariella Franker

And let’s be honest, the online world can be even more noisy and it never sleeps. So that issue of getting overstimulated and not managing your energy well can become a real problem for introverts and for extroverts. It’s generally speaking, of course, there are always exceptions, but generally speaking, that’s less of an issue.

00;18;36;12 – 00;18;49;00

David Hall

I always say, generally speaking too, because, you know, we don’t ever want to say everybody is exactly the same, so that’s great. How is preparation an important part of productivity for introverts?

00;18;49;00 – 00;19;20;10

Mariella Franker

Yeah. So like we mentioned before, the natural way that most introverts work is well, let me give you an example. Let’s say you come into a new situation. Most introverts typically will observe first, then reflect, and then share their thoughts. And this is very different from extroverts, as they will typically voice their thoughts immediately. And the thinking process happens kind of in parallel.

00;19;21;11 – 00;19;52;16

Mariella Franker

So an introvert, I like to say this way, an introvert typically forms their thoughts through internal reflection, while an extrovert forms their thoughts while speaking with another person and we’ve talked about this before when we’re on the panel as well. Yeah, yeah. But both processes are valuable. But it’s really important to understand differences because it can prevent a lot of misunderstanding and a lot of miscommunications.

00;19;53;17 – 00;20;29;05

Mariella Franker

And in a nutshell, this is the natural way that most introverts work, but it really gives you clues as to the communication styles around it and the natural decision making process. And when we talk about productivity, that is really kind of like the tipping point where a lot of introverts feel like they’re not productive, that they are always procrastinating, always overthink talking, and it’s because they don’t understand a natural process.

00;20;29;05 – 00;20;37;25

Mariella Franker

And when that that natural moment for them comes to make a decision and to take the next step.

00;20;37;25 – 00;21;00;19

David Hall

Yeah, procrastinating is the interesting thing because it’s like like you’re describing we’re not always going to make decisions on the spot. Sometimes we are. Sometimes we’re not going to need time to think about things. And again, it’s not that we always need a lot of time, but sometimes we need time to think about things. And, you know, I look back and reflect, of course, that’s what we’re good at.

00;21;00;26 – 00;21;20;20

David Hall

I reflect on some decisions that I’ve made, some big decisions, and they came with time. You know, if I think about, you know, what, if I had made a snap decision on that, it probably wouldn’t have turned out as well. So it’s important for us to to give some things, some thought, you know, often just letting those thoughts roll around in our heads.

00;21;20;20 – 00;21;34;28

David Hall

Different things come together for some really good, innovative, creative ideas. But sometimes we have to allow ourselves to do that and we can get pressured to not take any time to think. And we have to understand how that works.

00;21;34;28 – 00;21;38;12

Mariella Franker

Mm. Yeah, exactly. And we always.

00;21;39;12 – 00;21;48;18

David Hall

Say how do we avoid overthinking? Because that could be a problem with giving ourselves time to think it can turn into overthinking and procrastination for sure.

00;21;49;07 – 00;22;15;29

Mariella Franker

Yeah, exactly. Yeah. That nicely fits in with, with this topic we’re talking about now. So overthinking like you mentioned, it usually shows up when we either don’t have enough time to reflect on our thoughts or we don’t have enough context. And that context that goes back to that that map analogy that we used before. Right, that your your natural process of solving problems, that’s unique to you.

00;22;16;02 – 00;22;38;20

Mariella Franker

So when we work on a problem, we go through a couple of stages. And the most important stage is what I call the connecting the dots stage. To get to that stage, introverts need context and they need reflection. So to avoid it or to work through it, because I don’t really think avoiding it is the way to go about it.

00;22;38;28 – 00;23;05;21

Mariella Franker

This is a process that you will go through anyway, whether you want to or not. If you’re an introvert, you will reflect on things. So making space for that and working with it rather than against it. So one of the practical tips that I can give is pay attention to the questions that naturally pop up for you, the questions that come into your mind are usually like the missing pieces of context.

00;23;06;10 – 00;23;39;23

Mariella Franker

So try to answer those questions and that will give you the context that you need to to start connecting those dots. And the other reason that you mentioned is not having time to reflect. So when you’re constantly busy jumping from one thing to the next or, you know, just not taking any quiet time, that can actually cause overstimulation and you don’t have that natural reflection process that you that you have, that you go through anyway.

00;23;40;06 – 00;24;12;03

Mariella Franker

So in practical sense, having some kind of a reflection practice that makes a huge, huge difference. And what that looks like is different for for everyone. But all the examples of successful people and happy introverts out there, especially, they have some kind of reflection process throughout their day or throughout the week. So examples include things like journaling, walks in nature, even relaxing under the shower or prayer and meditation.

00;24;12;04 – 00;24;14;29

Mariella Franker

It can work really well.

00;24;14;29 – 00;24;28;24

David Hall

So for you or for people you’ve coached, is that something that you schedule or something like taking a walk or being in the shower or whatever? Is that something that just occurs naturally throughout the week or both?

00;24;29;20 – 00;24;57;08

Mariella Franker

That’s a good question. That is actually also different for each person. Okay. So yeah, depending on your natural process, some people really like to have a schedule. So I’ve coached people who really like that regular pretty. It kind of anchors them throughout their day and throughout the week. But I also have coaching clients who actually that the mere thought of scheduling that kind of makes them break out into high rate.

00;24;57;18 – 00;25;27;18

Mariella Franker

So that’s obviously a big sign that that’s not for you. So your process is then different. So really listen to yourself with that and experiment a little bit. You know, there’s always a little bit of trying out and you will very clearly notice what works best for you. As soon as you notice it’s blocking you or it’s actually making you feel anxious and then just let it go and you’re it’s okay to try another way.

00;25;29;04 – 00;25;48;26

David Hall

Yeah. And again, just going back to introverts are not all the same. There’s definitely some people that are more scheduled like to have things planned out. And there’s there’s definitely people that want to be more spontaneous. And like you said, they the thought of scheduling things like that doesn’t work for them. And that’s what it’s about. You have to get to know yourself and and what truly works for you.

00;25;48;26 – 00;26;04;04

David Hall

And one gift that we have on our side is reflection that we can try something and see how it works and think about that. Was that effective for me? And that’s a cool thing. How important to set priorities in order to be productive?

00;26;04;28 – 00;26;34;17

Mariella Franker

Hmm. Yeah, that’s a well, I mean, priorities that is essential, right? Like, like we mentioned before, productivity does not equal being busy. So busy is when we try to do everything, preferably at the same time. And that’s when we start getting really busy and frantic. Productivity is all about doing the few things that will have the most impact on your overall goal.

00;26;35;09 – 00;26;59;07

Mariella Franker

So inherently, if you want to be productive, you need to set priorities. And especially nowadays when we have so many things going on, both private life, work life, you know, everything around it, it is it can be quite difficult to decide on priorities. And but I like to think of it like we can do anything, but we can’t do everything.

00;27;00;07 – 00;27;35;22

Mariella Franker

And in my opinion and I’m curious to hear your take on this, David, and then in my opinion, there are three main reasons why people get stuck and they don’t feel productive. And so it’s about clarity, priorities and managing distractions. And clarity is about what you want to do. Priorities is about choosing what to do next. And managing distractions is about staying the course when you’ve made the choice, just to put it bluntly.

00;27;37;07 – 00;27;50;25

Mariella Franker

So, yeah, if you have these three things, then it’s it becomes much easier to, to reach any goal that you want to achieve. But if you’re struggling in one of those areas, it can really slow you down.

00;27;50;25 – 00;28;17;24

David Hall

Yeah, I love that. But you can’t. You could do anything, but you can’t do everything. And I definitely have found that. And that’s kind of how I got into looking at how I could be productive because I was trying to do everything and it doesn’t work because there’s not enough time in the day to do everything. And you have to get really clear, like you’re saying, you have to get really clear on what do I want to accomplish?

00;28;17;24 – 00;28;40;23

David Hall

What’s the most important things with my family, with my business, with my life? What’s the most important things? And, you know, usually people think of the new year is a good time to reflect. It is it is a good time. But you have to do it so much more frequently than the year. You know, you have to set aside some time to reflect and think about, okay, how am I doing?

00;28;40;23 – 00;29;00;24

David Hall

Am I getting the things done that I want to do? And however often that is, that’s going to vary by individual like you’re saying, you know, maybe it’s once a month, maybe it’s every quarter. It definitely has to be more than once a year. And that’s that’s not frequent enough. But you have to think about, okay, am I getting what I want?

00;29;00;24 – 00;29;13;07

David Hall

Am I doing those things for the other people, important people in my life that I want? And if not what I need to change what I need to do. Let’s just what is your definition of productivity? Because. Yeah, we’re saying we’re agreeing it’s not being busy.

00;29;14;05 – 00;29;47;12

Mariella Franker

Hmm. Yeah. Yeah, I think I just said a version of that. But for me, productivity is when you when you do those few things that have the most impact on what you want to achieve. And I really recognize what you said about trying to do everything because yeah, that was my approach to productivity also for a long time, you know, fitting in extra things, extra work into all the nooks and crannies of the day, thinking that that would get me closer to that goal that I had.

00;29;47;12 – 00;30;16;00

Mariella Franker

But it did the opposite because I was always tired, not sharp, you know, making mistakes, not having time for reflection and actually feeling quite anxious as well. Because one thing we didn’t talk about is that a lot of interviewers have a very strong inner critic because we are so reflective. We spend a lot of time thinking about things, about things that we said, things that someone else said, things that happened, things that we should have said.

00;30;16;00 – 00;30;47;10

Mariella Franker

You know, a lot of there’s a lot going on inside of our heads. And a lot of us have also gotten messages, sometimes well-meaning messages growing up that being quiet or being and not participating as much as other kids, that that somehow wasn’t wasn’t okay. You know, so a lot of people that I work with, a lot of introverts have internalized these messages and that fuels their inner critic.

00;30;47;10 – 00;31;15;07

Mariella Franker

So they walk around with a lot of doubts and a lot of anxiety, actually, about the choices that they’re making. And so embracing that, that your natural process includes reflection. And like you said, we thinking about what are the most important things. And I love that you mentioned those different areas. This is not just about work. It’s also about personal life.

00;31;15;07 – 00;31;32;20

Mariella Franker

It’s about the type of person that you want to be. It’s about how you want to live your life. All of those things having clarity about what that looks like or feels like to you can really be like that more than stark that guides you to make your choices.

00;31;33;18 – 00;31;50;26

David Hall

Yeah, absolutely. So if you don’t find that clarity, that definitely can lead to, you know, being burned out, you know, trying to do too much. So I think that’s one way. Is there any other things that that people can do if they do reach that burnout point?

00;31;51;28 – 00;32;34;08

Mariella Franker

Yeah. So I’ve been burnt out. That was one of the pinnacle shifts for me. That really changed the way that I viewed productivity. And I’ve also worked with some people who were either recovering or leading up to burnout. So basically the first thing that I would say, if you if that’s you honestly at that stage, I wouldn’t even worry about productivity because burnout is a very serious mental and physical depletion and you just need to recover.

00;32;34;26 – 00;33;12;07

Mariella Franker

So the most important thing there, I think, is sleep and nutrition really going to basics and physical health, because if you don’t have that, you will not be able to have the mental clarity to to start building again. And once you have that stabilized, like if you’re sleeping well and you have your your nutrition, giving it a physical energy that you need, that’s when you can start building again towards, you know, whatever goals that you want to have.

00;33;12;07 – 00;33;42;03

Mariella Franker

Now, this sort of process is much more difficult to achieve now. And we’re just saying right now and ultimately, I feel that the way to get through that is to have a support system and especially a human support system. And how I like to call it. And so this and there are a lot of thoughts going through my head because I’m thinking about a lot of different people right now in my life and also my clients.

00;33;42;05 – 00;34;11;08

Mariella Franker

And it can be very hard to ask for help. And I see that in my clients due to people that I work with. It’s also something that I am still learning to ask for help when you know, you actually already know that it is too much and and I like to think that the relationship that I have with my clients and I’m just I’m one of the people that are in their human support system.

00;34;11;08 – 00;34;17;23

David Hall

What’s the what’s that kind of number one thing that people that your clients are coming to to you for help for it?

00;34;17;23 – 00;35;01;08

Mariella Franker

So the main issue that my clients come to me with is around energy management. But there are usually different reasons underneath that why they are experiencing low energy. So it’s almost like a symptom, you know, it’s not really a symptom because, you know, we’re not talking about disease patterns here, but that’s how it shows up in their daily life, like feeling really rundown just throughout the day, having a lot of trouble keeping their energy up to do their work or they feel their their relationships are draining to them or their work is draining in the process of of figuring out their map.

00;35;01;23 – 00;35;33;00

Mariella Franker

We uncovered the reason underneath. And a lot of the time it has to do with either actually those two things that we that we talked about earlier, that they’re either not recharging enough or in a way that feels good to them. One common mistake that a lot of interests make is they try to sleep away their exhaustion, but sleeping more doesn’t actually recharge if you don’t have time for self-reflection.

00;35;34;06 – 00;36;00;10

Mariella Franker

So that is something that I see a lot. And the other part is that they’re not doing enough things sorry, they’re not doing enough things that really fulfill them. So they’re doing work where they’re not able to work in their natural process using their unique map. And they’re always trying to work according to the map to find their landmarks and the and they’re not able to find it.

00;36;00;16 – 00;36;17;24

Mariella Franker

It’s just a completely different map in their work environment, for example, and they get lost. And that is very draining because it has a of energy to work in that way. So those are usually then generally speaking, the things that are underneath that energy management problem.

00;36;17;24 – 00;36;29;01

David Hall

So there may be somebody that’s out there that was a little disappointed by the sleep advice because they know that it’s not going to fix things. But I mean, really it’s important to get the right immodestly, just not too much, right?

00;36;29;29 – 00;36;39;06

Mariella Franker

Yes, exactly. So yeah, of course, sleep is essential, as we also talked about it in terms of burnout, but it’s not to solve all. Yeah, in this case, unfortunately.

00;36;39;17 – 00;36;52;02

David Hall

Yeah. You know, I think occasionally that’s probably a good thing but just that shouldn’t be your regular go to and like you’re saying find those things if you haven’t already that really lights you up that really you know that you get excited about.

00;36;53;09 – 00;37;04;22

Mariella Franker

Yeah yeah 100% and just trying to get more of those into your life. I see my clients do that in small and sometimes big ways, but small ways can make a lot of difference as well.

00;37;05;20 – 00;37;25;21

David Hall

Yeah, and sometimes it can be a gradual process as you’re, as you’re changing your life and trying to find more of those things that really get you excited. It can take some time, but, you know, be headed in that direction. Mario, we talked about so many great things today. Are there any other big productivity tips for introverts that we haven’t touched on?

00;37;25;21 – 00;37;26;05

David Hall

Hmm.

00;37;26;21 – 00;37;29;27

Mariella Franker

Well, I like to talk about practices rather than tips.

00;37;30;09 – 00;37;30;19

David Hall

Okay.

00;37;31;23 – 00;37;57;09

Mariella Franker

Because when I when I think about a practice, it’s something that you you revisit constantly. And that really plays into the reflective nature of introverts. So anything that you want to do, being healthy habits or getting a reflection to having more reflection, try to think of it in terms of a practice and not just a one off thing that you do.

00;37;57;29 – 00;38;05;09

Mariella Franker

And that is rigid, but it is something that is something you revisit and that you can adapt to your needs.

00;38;06;14 – 00;38;14;24

David Hall

How often do you reflect on your practices? And I know that can be different for everybody, but in general, is there some advice there?

00;38;14;24 – 00;38;34;24

Mariella Franker

And that’s a good one. And so this also is different for everyone. Like we mentioned, some people, they really like regularity. So for them it can actually it can take a long time to figure out what works. But once they find it, it’s golden and they sticking to it just gives them so much peace of mind and they get into flow really easily.

00;38;35;07 – 00;39;05;25

Mariella Franker

Other people and I’m the second that type. We constantly change our practices basically, and for me it’s really like a fluid process I will have and and it will also change seasonally, almost not necessarily with the, the seasons of the weather, but more the state of business that I’m in, the stage of the project that I’m in. And for me it’s a daily, almost a daily process.

00;39;06;19 – 00;39;18;17

David Hall

Yeah, definitely. This episode has been so full of good ideas for practice. Where can people find out more about the great work that you’re doing for introverts and productivity in your podcast?

00;39;19;15 – 00;39;47;10

Mariella Franker

MM Yeah, yeah. So one of the places is, is, is my podcast, the productive introvert community with my other friends. So if you just search for that on your favorite podcast app or where you’re listening right now, you will probably find it there. And that’s where I really where I share a lot about these types of misconceptions and practices that are helpful for integrates.

00;39;48;14 – 00;40;13;14

Mariella Franker

Or if you’re a hands on kind of person and you want to get started right now, and then you can also go to my website the Franken message dot com slash subscribe and I have a free training bundle there waiting for you that you can access for free. And right now and that one is about that reflection process that we talked about.

00;40;14;07 – 00;40;40;23

Mariella Franker

It kind of walks you through a mini version of that that works well for me and for some of my clients. Mind you, not all. Like I said, this is different for everyone. But if you are looking to start a reflection process and you practice and you don’t have that yet, that can help you get started. So if you want to start with that, go to the Franken message dot com slash subscribe.

00;40;40;23 – 00;40;43;11

David Hall

Okay, very good. I will put that in the show notes as well.

00;40;44;09 – 00;40;52;16

Mariella Franker

Thank you, David. It was so fun talking to you. Really great questions and insights and insightful conversation. I loved it.

00;40;53;05 – 00;41;15;18

David Hall

Yes, me too. Thank you, Mario. This has been a great conversation. Thank you so much for joining me. I look forward to further connecting with you. Reach out to David at quiet and strong dot com or check out the quiet and strong dot com website, which includes blog posts, links to social media and other items. Send me topics or guests you would like to see on the show.

00;41;16;00 – 00;41;35;06

David Hall

If you’re interested in getting to know yourself better. There’s now a free type finder personality assessment on the quiet and strong website. This free assessment will give you a brief report, including the four letter Myers-Briggs code. All add a link to the show notes. There’s so many great things about being an introvert, so we need those to be understood.

00;41;35;24 – 00;41;45;12

David Hall

Get to know your introverted strengths and needs and be strong.

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