Productivity for sensitive introverted types

  1. So here's what you need to know:
  2. Sensitives/introverts artsy/feelsy people have to process EVERYTHING.
  3. While other more extroverted or practical types can just go on to the next activity, having extracted the information they need from the previous one, we will be worrying it until we have unwrapped every layer, drawn out every drop of meaning, felt every feel and thought every thought.
  4. So, y'know, sometimes it takes us longer to get shit done. Cos of that. All the feels. And thoughts. And meaning. And interpretations. It all takes time and energy. And we can't just switch it off.
  5. Which means that putting pressure on ourselves, or others pressuring us, is just totally counterproductive.
  6. First off, we are now feeling all the feels and thinking all the thoughts about the situation: who is pressuring us, why, goddamned capitalism again, etc etc.
  7. Secondly, you cannot put time limits on these thoughts and feelings. They do not punch out when we punch in.
  8. So being told (by self or others, explicitly or implicitly) to just man up (cos men don't have feelings, obviously 🙄) and do the thing just creates a whole lot of anxiety.
  9. Which is somewhat like tying our legs to a bucket and then asking us to run a race. Not helpful.
  10. Recently, I've been trying a rather counterintuitive, but so far successful method I'm calling "hanging out in my pyjamas and not doing anything".
  11. Catchy, yes?
  12. The thing is, this is what I want to do anyway, along with many an introvert/sensitive.
  13. But generally I try to force myself to be productive (even just typing the word makes me nervous).
  14. And I get either really stressed and tired or really wired, and either procrastinate or become crazy hyperactive. Neither is great for mental health, friends and fam, or productivity. Both end in weeping on the sofa.
  15. But I have found that, when I have time at home, if I don't schedule anything, just have a loose idea of what needs to get done...
  16. Because I am a sensitive introvert type and, like many of us, have a high sense of commitment...
  17. I will just quietly potter around, getting stuff done without even realising it.
  18. Like the other day, I was cosied up reading Mansfield Park,
  19. And spontaneously pulled out my phone and sent a couple of emails. They were overdue and had become sources of stress/objects of procrastination.
  20. Today, I again do not have anything specific planned and found myself organising my desk, clearing out my inbox and actually contemplating writing thank you cards (and who out there does not get anxious about thank you cards?!). I even wrote a to do list! And it didn't stress me out, because I wasn't adding the time pressure element.
  21. Deadlines, schedules etc are there to keep us accountable to getting things done. They are a good slave but a poor master. If your sense of accountability is so easily stimulated that a schedule will make you crazy, then you don't need a schedule.
  22. Obviously, I have the huge privilege of working a mini part-time job and having heaps of unscheduled time for writing and keeping life going, so I can experiment freely with my time management.
  23. But I can't help thinking that this should be possible in some form in other contexts?
  24. Like trusting yourself to get things done without deadlines?
  25. Or giving yourself the freedom to move your schedule around at work, as long as it doesn't effect other people?
  26. Or asking to work from home more so you can un-schedule your way through the day?
  27. And most importantly, developing a relationship of trust with your superiors, so they know that you'll get things done, whether they are on your back or not.
  28. Thoughts?
  29. Love.