Quiet and Strong Podcast episode 161 - Leveraging Your Introversion: 7 Vital Needs for Productivity with host David Hall

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Show Notes

Are you struggling to find ways to increase your productivity as an introvert in a world designed for extroverts?

In this episode of the Quiet, Strong Podcast, host David Hall shares how to Leverage Your Introversion with 7 Vital Needs for Productivity, just for Introverts.

Listen in to learn about the specific needs and strengths of introverts, gaining insights into time management, productivity, and success.

David explores the importance of recharge, recreation, thinking time, planning, focus, preparation, and dreaming, providing practical strategies for introverts to thrive. Tune in to discover unique approaches to productivity that cater to introverted strengths, understand the power of deep thinking, and embrace a life designed around your introverted needs.

Don’t miss out on this valuable insight into introversion, and be strong.

How to Leverage Your Introversion by Understanding 7 Vital Introvert Needs for Productivity

As an introvert myself, I have experienced the challenge of balancing a full-time job, running a side business with my wife, and raising three children, all while feeling the constant pressure of time constraints. Through this journey, I came to understand that introverts have distinct needs when it comes to time management and productivity, needs that are often overlooked in traditional approaches.

My personal realization and subsequent research led me to write my first book, “Minding Your Time: Time Management, Productivity, and Success, Especially for Introverts.” The book emphasizes the importance of recognizing and catering to the unique strengths and needs of introverts, offering insights into designing a life tailored to our specific requirements for managing time and energy effectively.

In this episode, we will delve into 7 essential needs introverts have in order to be productive and accomplish their goals. The goal is to shift the conversation around productivity from simply being “busy” to focusing on what is truly important to each individual, aligning with their strengths and aspirations.

“We need time to recharge, time for recreation, time to think, time to plan, time to focus, time to prepare, and time to dream.” — David Hall

Quiet and Strong Podcast, Ep 161

To start, it’s crucial for introverts to understand their own strengths. While introverts make up about 50% of the population, each of us possesses a unique blend of strengths and characteristics. Through various tools such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), I discovered my own strengths as an INTJ, particularly valuing analytical thinking and structured organization. This realization allowed me to tap into my strengths and, subsequently, identify areas where I may need support from those with complementary abilities.

Understanding our strengths is essential, but it’s equally important to recognize our needs. As introverts, we require time to recharge, think, plan, focus, prepare, and dream. Many traditional productivity discussions oversimplify the concept of “recharging,” often focusing solely on solitude. However, for introverts, it goes beyond just being alone. We need to consider the quality of solitude, the nature of our interactions, and the depth of our conversations. It’s crucial to identify what drains and energizes us, then proactively plan time for rejuvenation and recreation, both alone and with others.

Additionally, introverts need dedicated time for deep thinking and planning. For many of us, the early morning or late night serves as an oasis of quiet, a time to gather our thoughts and reflect. This thinking time is a catalyst for generating innovative solutions and envisioning our future paths. To further support this, establishing regular periods for focused work, devoid of distractions, can significantly boost productivity for introverts.

The ability to prepare for various situations is paramount for introverts to thrive. We excel when we have the opportunity to plan, research, and anticipate, fostering a sense of confidence and readiness for any circumstance. While this preparation is invaluable, it’s essential to remember our humanness and embrace the inherent unpredictability of life.

Nevertheless, amidst our need for solitude and deep thinking, introverts also require time for connection and recreation. Balancing these needs allows us to fully engage with our loved ones and recharge ourselves through activities that bring joy and fulfillment.

I urge introverts to be unapologetically proud of their introverted nature, recognizing the immense value it brings to their lives and the world around them. By leveraging our strengths and honoring our needs, we can navigate the complexities of productivity and time management with grace and efficiency, while remaining true to our authentic selves.

I encourage you to explore the various episodes and resources on the Quiet and Strong website, including a free Typefinder personality assessment, which can provide valuable insights into your unique strengths as an introvert. Connect with me here and share your thoughts, ideas, and suggestions for future episodes. Together, let’s champion the strengths and needs of introverts and pave the way for a more inclusive and understanding world.

Thank you for joining me on this journey. Let’s continue to harness the power of introversion and build a community where introverts can thrive and be strong.

Key Takeaways

– Introversion is a strength to be embraced, not a trait to be fixed

– Introverts have unique needs when it comes to time management and productivity

Introverts need time to recharge, think, plan, focus, prepare, and dream

Understanding personal strengths and needs is crucial for productivity and success as an introvert

– The importance of articulating and sharing introverted needs with those in relationships or at work

Make Changes Now

After listening to this episode of the Quiet and Strong Podcast, here are some actions you can take this week:

1. Take the Free Typefinder Personality Assessment: As mentioned in the episode, visit the Quiet and Strong website and take the free Typefinder personality assessment. This will help you better understand your strengths as an introvert and receive a brief report including your four-letter Myers Briggs code.

2. Reflect on Your Recharge and Recreational Time: Take some time to reflect on how you recharge and what recreational activities energize you. Identify solo activities and those you enjoy with company. Consider communicating these needs with those around you to ensure you have sufficient time for solitude and recreation.

3. Schedule Time for Thinking and Planning: Block out dedicated time in your schedule for thinking and planning. Whether you are an early riser, a night owl, or prefer a specific time of day for deep thinking, ensure you allocate time for introspection and strategic planning.

4. Prepare for Professional Engagements: Prioritize preparation for meetings, presentations, and important conversations. Consider what information you need, the key points you want to convey, and how you can ensure you’re well-prepared for impactful interactions.

5. Create Space for Dreaming: Set aside time for dreaming and creative thinking. Whether it’s staring out the window, taking a walk, or finding quiet moments for inspiration, carve out time to engage your imagination and allow for creative problem-solving and innovation.

Taking these actions can help you leverage your introverted strengths and honor your needs, leading to greater productivity at work and in life.

Contacts and Links

Contact the Host of the Quiet and Strong Podcast:

David Hall

Author, Speaker, Educator, Podcaster

david [at] quietandstrong.com

Take the FREE Personality Assessment:

Typefinder Personality Assessment

Follow David on your favorite social platform:

Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn

Get David’s book:
Minding Your Time: Time Management, Productivity, and Success, Especially for Introverts

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Quiet & Strong Merchandise

Timestamped Overview

00:00 Introverts have unique needs for productivity and time management, explored in the book “Minding Your Time.”

03:15 Productivity for introverts, embrace strengths.

08:02 A website offers free personality assessment and introvert needs summary.

11:30 Take breaks, recharge, and communicate needs with others.

14:18 Take time to plan and prioritize weekly tasks for productivity.

17:48 Focus on one task at a time in a quiet environment.

Podcast Transcript

David Hall [00:00:08]:
Hello, and welcome to episode 161 of the Quiet and Strong podcast, especially for introverts. I’m your host, David Hall. I’m the creator of quietandstrong.com. This is 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. Leave a review.

David Hall [00:00:31]:
That would mean a lot to me. Tell a friend about the podcast. Help get the word out there. The introversion is a beautiful thing. So what are you doing with your extra day this leap year? I love the idea of having an extra day. Don’t we all want more time in our busy days or extra days in our years? So I was just curious why we have a leap day. Apparently, the Earth does not take precisely 365 days to orbit the sun. A full orbit actually takes approximately 365 and a quarter days, which means an extra day needs to be added every 4 years in order to keep our calendars aligned with the actual astronomical events.

David Hall [00:01:14]:
Cool. Right? So what are you doing with your extra day? How are you spending the days that you have? What lights you up? Are you spending the majority of your day using your gifts and strengths? And what does this have to do with introversion? So when I was first discovering that I was an introvert, I was very busy at a full time job. I was running a business with my wife on the side. I have 3 kids. There was so much to do and not enough time to do everything. Definitely regularly feeling overwhelmed. So at the same time, I was doing lots of reading and research about time management and productivity. I was noticing that I had some specific needs as an introvert for time management and productivity that were not being called out in these books I was reading and the things I was listening to.

David Hall [00:02:08]:
But yet as an introvert, I was figuring out my specific needs when it comes to productivity and time management. So I wrote my first book, Minding Your Time, Time Management, Productivity, and Success, especially for introverts. Introverts have unique strengths and gifts, but in order to be effective, they need to consider needs that come with these strengths and gifts. In many areas of our lives, we as introverts will take a different approach to find success, and we may succeed differently from our extroverted counterparts. And this applies to designing a life around your introverted needs to best manage your time and your energy to utilize your great gifts. Introverts, we’re deep thinkers, and you may be a deep feeler. We need to connect with others, but we also need some time alone to recharge and for recreation, and many other things to best use our gifts. So we’re gonna get into 7 needs we have as introverts to be productive and accomplish our goals.

David Hall [00:03:15]:
And productivity isn’t necessarily about being busy and getting a lot of things done, but it’s about getting what is most important to you done and accomplishing your goals and your dreams. So to start with, do you know your strengths as an introvert? Keep in mind, we’re not all the same. Introverts make up about 50% of the population. And while we have a lot in common, there’s going to be a lot of variety amongst introverts. What we have in common is that we turn into our world of ideas and our great imaginations more often than not. You’re in a great place by listening to the quiet, strong podcast. I have many introverted guests. They’re either introvert experts or maybe they’re an introvert who has found success in a particular area by leaning into their introverted strengths and honoring their needs.

David Hall [00:04:12]:
I’ve also led a few extroverts onto the show to talk about success. But it’s obvious, as you listen, that we’re not all the same. That each of these guests talk about their strengths. And again, as you’re listening, you may find some things in common, but there may be some strengths that you have that are unique to you. And in discovering your strengths, there’s a lot of great books out there and other resources. A turning point for me in discovering my strengths was going through the Myers Briggs Type Indicator, sometimes called the MBTI. And I was going through this training to get certified to administer the MBTI. In this training, it was confirmed for me that, yeah, I was introverted and this came very naturally to me.

David Hall [00:05:02]:
The Myers Briggs also goes into some other aspects of our personalities. So in addition to being an introvert, I’m a big picture person. I’m very analytical. I’d like things to be scheduled and organized. If you’re familiar with the instrument, I’m an INTJ. And we’re not going to go heavily into this today. It is on other episodes. You can listen to past episodes.

David Hall [00:05:26]:
We’ll have future episodes talking about the Myers Briggs, but briefly there’s 8 different combinations for introverts of these four letters. And there’s 8 different combinations for extroverts. And it’s a great tool to get to know your strengths and needs and how they may be similar to those you love and work with or where you may be different and need some understanding. We have many different strengths, but I just want to give one example of a couple of different strengths and how they might be complementary. So as I said, I’m very analytical. I always have been. I always will be. And it’s a great strength for me.

David Hall [00:06:06]:
Analytical individuals excel at breaking down complex problems into smaller, more manageable components. They have the natural ability to analyze data, identify patterns, and to derive insights, making them invaluable problem solvers in various fields. That’s a gift I have, but I don’t have all the strengths. And it’s a great thing to have other people in my life with complimentary strengths. So in Myers Briggs language, the analytical piece is covered by the T for thinking. So that’s, you know, I said, I’m an INTJ. Instead of a t, someone might have an f for feeling. Someone that’s more of a feeler often experiences the feelings of others, and this can be a great gift.

David Hall [00:06:52]:
Empathic individuals have a deep understanding of others’ emotions and perspectives. They can empathize with people’s feelings, experiences, struggles, which allows them to forge strong connections and build trust with others. So the way that a thinking person experiences empathy can be much different from a way a feeling person experiences empathy. And neither is good or bad, but it’s important to understand how we’re using our gifts and how we’re helping others, how we’re accomplishing our goals. Overall, both analytical individuals and empaths possess unique gifts that contribute to their respective strengths and abilities. While analytical thinkers excel in logical reasoning and problem solving, Impasse bring empathy, compassion, emotional intelligence to their interactions and relationships. Together, these complementary strengths enrich our collective experience and enhance our capacity for understanding collaboration and growth. Again, this is just a couple of strengths that we might have, and it’s you need to get to know all of your strengths and understand other people’s strengths where you might differ.

David Hall [00:08:02]:
If you’re interested in getting to know yourself better, there is a free type finder personality assessment on the quiet and strong website. And this free assessment will give you a brief report, including this four letter code that we’re talking about from the Myers Briggs system. I’ll add a link to the show notes. And, of course, there’s many other instruments and resources out there. We’ve talked about them in previous episodes, and, of course, we’ll continue in future episodes to talk about getting to know your strengths, especially as an introvert. So as you know your strengths and work to fill your day as much as possible with those things that light you up, You also have some needs to take into consideration, especially as an introvert. We’re going to talk about the 7 needs that we have as introverts to be productive. So we need time to recharge, time for recreation, time to think, time to plan, time to focus, time to repair, and time to dream.

David Hall [00:09:00]:
So one of the biggies is we do need time to recharge. The energy discussion is an important one for introverts. I do think the conversation is often oversimplified, though. I sometimes hear that introverts are drained by people or all people and recharged by being alone. I would rather say that certain people and situations may be draining for me. We do need some time alone to recharge. But there’s so much more to it of the solitude that we need. And we’re going to get into that on this episode today.

David Hall [00:09:39]:
So why do we need to recharge introverts or deep thinkers? And when we’re not able to think or we’re not given sufficient time to think, This could be draining. Or as an empath, you may need a break from the emotions of others that you’re experiencing. Normally, introverts think and then speak. If we’re in a conversation where there’s pressure to think and speak quickly or too quickly, this can cause us to be drained. Maybe we’re drained by too much small talk when we want to move on to deeper topics. Maybe we’re at a networking event, and we’re bouncing around from person to person in rapid conversation. This can be draining. However, if we come to deep conversation about topics we’re interested in, it can actually charge us up or not be draining anyway.

David Hall [00:10:33]:
The important thing to know is what drains you, what energizes you. Keep in mind that things you like can be draining. I love doing this podcast, but I always give myself at least an hour before to prepare, to make sure everything’s working, to get into the right mindset. I will likely give some more thought to the questions I wanna ask my guests and the things I want to talk about. Most of the time, the conversations with my guests actually don’t drain me because we’re talking about important things that we care about, and we’re talking about introverts and introversion. But I always do give myself an hour after the podcast so that I have time to recharge as I need it. So as we talk about planning your recharge, consider what is gonna drain you. How can you regain your energy after? Maybe you have a high stakes meeting with an important presentation.

David Hall [00:11:30]:
You’ve done your preparation, but after, you know you’re gonna need a break. Can you plug in some downtime right after that presentation? What will you do during that downtime that will recharge you? Sometimes for me, it’s not completely taking a break from work, but maybe after a stressful meeting, it might be recharging by doing some quiet work alone. And we need some time for recreation. So there’s recharge during the day. And then how do you spend your evenings and weekends? Do you have sufficient time to have some fun and also relax? What do you like to do by yourself? And what do you like to do with others? Do you sometimes just, for example, like to take a hike alone and then sometimes you’d like to have company, ultimately, you know, what’s fun to you and you know what you like, you know, when you like to have some company and when you like to be alone. It’s important to share these needs with those that you’re in relationship with. Those you work with. It’s important to articulate these needs with others, with those around you.

David Hall [00:12:41]:
Of course, in relationships, you do have to have some give and take and need lots of understanding. Of course, as introverts, we need time to think. As an introvert, you’re a gifted thinker. You need to give yourself some time for that gift. I definitely need some dedicated time to think. I have become an early riser, and I enjoy the time at home in the quiet when everybody else is asleep to have some deep thoughts. That may not be you. My wife is a night owl, and she often stays up late when the house is quiet to get her quiet time.

David Hall [00:13:17]:
One of the best things I’ve done for my work life is to block up the first 90 minutes of my day for the needs that we’re talking about today. When do you get your thinking time? You know, I realized during the pandemic, when I was solely working from home and not driving into the office every day, that I was missing something. I was missing that time to think on my commute or maybe recharge on the way home. I didn’t miss the traffic. I didn’t miss spending money on gas, but I realized that I was getting some good thinking done while I was driving or I was getting some good recharge time while I was driving. I’ve often said that I should have been paid for this time as I did solve a lot of work problems on my commute. You know, as introverts, we can come up with ideas quickly. But more often, our best ideas are gonna come with some time to let our brains put together some great ideas.

David Hall [00:14:18]:
And remember, if you need some time to think about something, say so. Another important thing to be productive is we need to set aside some time to plan. I’m sure you’re like me, and you have more that you wanna do than you possibly could. We need to take some time to think and think about what’s most important to us and plan the actions we’re gonna take for the year and then the month, the week, the day. We should have a little retreat with ourselves from time to time, whether that’s the beginning of the year, each quarter, each month, whatever works for you. Find a quiet space and think about what’s most important to you and how you’re gonna get the things done that are a priority for you. So what are you doing each week to accomplish your goals? I greatly benefited from David Allen’s book, Getting Things Done, and the concept of the weekly review at the end of the week. Look forward to the next week or maybe the next couple of weeks and look at your calendar.

David Hall [00:15:25]:
What are your top priorities? What are do or die things from your goals? Do you have time set aside in addition to your meetings to get things done? Have a look at your various activities. See if you can build in some quiet time or recharge time into your schedule. Are you prepared for different meetings, presentations, speeches and conversations? Because that’s the next one. Time to prepare. As introverts, we need time to repair. We do our best by thinking ahead of time and not as well at thinking on the spot. We can’t think on the spot, so I’m not saying that. And we can come up with some great solutions and great ideas immediately, but often, we do our best with time and preparation.

David Hall [00:16:16]:
Do you need to do some more research before the meeting? Do you have the agenda? What are the points that you want to make in the meeting? What are the questions that you have? Give these things some thought and write them down so that you’re prepared. Are you ready for your presentation? Do you know what you wanna say? Do you know the stories that you wanna tell? What’s your goal for the networking event? Who do you want to meet, Or who do you want to have conversations with? Do you have some talking points? So you can prepare for different meetings, presentations, events, conversations. With all this preparation, it’s not meant to be robotic or scripted. Rather, you’re prepared. But no, you can never fully be prepared for everything as much as you try. But that’s okay. And that’s a key part of this too. You’re gonna do your best preparation, but remember that you’re a human and you can’t be prepared for everything.

David Hall [00:17:18]:
Nobody can. And then also as introverts, we need time to focus. So in addition to recharge and time to think, we often need some time to focus and to get some work done. Sometimes this requires quiet. As I was thinking this morning about the podcast, there was a lawnmower, very loud outside, and it was distracting. It was hard to concentrate. Luckily, it’s done now. But at times, we might need to create and find some quiet time.

David Hall [00:17:48]:
Maybe this morning, I I could have put on some noise canceling headphones, or sometimes I call these family canceling headphones. And the other part of this time for focus is we might need quiet, but also we can only really concentrate on one thing at a time. And so trying to multitask is not usually going to work or be very effective. We can only think about one thing at a time. And if we’re trying to do too much, there can be a lot of starting and stopping and trying to remember, hey. Where did I leave off? Starting and stopping can also cause a lot of mistakes. So it’s really helpful if we can schedule some time where you have the quiet that you need, and you’re only trying to focus on one thing at a time. And we need some time to dream.

David Hall [00:18:38]:
We have great imaginations. We need some time to use them and do some dreaming. Sometimes dreaming can be very productive, and we come up with some great, innovative, and creative solutions. Sometimes it’s just enjoyable. I was on a podcast talking about productivity for introverts, and I mentioned the time we need to dream. And the host said that she actually had that as a calendar item that she put a space. I am to dream. I thought that was such a great idea.

David Hall [00:19:10]:
Sometimes people may not understand, you know, if you’re staring out the window or you’re looking off into space. But that may be some of your best thinking time or dreaming time. So take time for recharge, time for recreation, time to think, time to plan, time to focus, time to prepare and time to dream. Spend time with those that you care about, and spend some time in solitude. Find that balance. Let others know what you need to be your best, and don’t apologize. Be proud of your deep thinking, introverted nature. Work to spend the majority of your time on things that are important to you and those things that light you up and enjoy the extra day in 2024.

David Hall [00:19:55]:
Thank you so much for joining me. I appreciate you. I hope you take the time to explore other episodes and learn from some amazing guests. And remember, if you’re interested in getting to know yourself better, there is a free Typefinder personality assessment on the Quiet and Strong website. This free assessment will give you a brief report, including your four letter Myers Briggs code, and I’ll add that link to the show notes. And I’d love to connect with you. Reach out at david@quietandstrong.com or check out the quiet and strong.com website, which includes blog posts, links to social media for Quiet and Strong, and more. Send me topics or guests you’d like to see on the show.

David Hall [00:20:37]:
There’s so many great things about being an introvert, and we need those to be understood. So get to know your introverted strengths and needs and be strong.

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