Are You Feeling Drained by Social Events?

[Image: Party Survival for Introverts]With holidays approaching, party survival is on a lot of our introvert minds. Let’s get real with this. Here’s what happens to me and what works to stay out of trouble.

These same “party survival” tips below apply to all kinds of social events, from networking gatherings to conferences.

I have a love/hate relationship with parties. Even with all the stars aligned at a social event — nice people, nice environment, good conversation, fun dancing — I can find myself hitting a wall and ready to scram early.

When that happens, my inner critic can start telling me I’m being rude, and people will think I’m a jerk, and before I know it, I’m forcing myself to stretch past my limits, and then it can get worse! I turn into a wall and end up crashing later (both my energy and my mood), and that’s not good for anything.

There is a better way. It takes gumption to take a stand for your needs, but it can really save your well-being and support those valued connections with others. I hope the ideas below can help light an easier path for you. It’s helping to re-light the path for me as I write this. We’re in this together.  Continue reading

The Productivity We Crave Starts with Taking Breaks

Often the topic for a new piece of writing like this is something that I’m working on in my own life. Let’s see if this rings a bell for you too.

Lately my personal stretch zone is about the need to take better care of my focus energy for projects that require individual concentration. I’m good at focusing in meetings, but when it comes to individual time on my own projects, I can get so scattered and it feels like those projects never get done. Plus, those days are not fun! Something is off.

This treehouse gives me a soothing reminder of the joy of taking a break.

This treehouse gives me a soothing reminder of the joy of taking a break.

So I’ve been renewing my interest in making conscious choices about my focused creative time. There are a zillion tips out there for being more productive, but for now, let’s just focus in on what’s probably a cornerstone of it all: the importance of rest and taking breaks.

I just heard one study that said the most productive employees in a company took the most breaks. Take that in! (I heard about this study from a new book, 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management.)

I know that our brains can only take so much and we are pushing it past its limits in this screen-focused culture. Umm, taking a “break” to go check email or Facebook is not a refreshing break.

I’m talking about real breaks for our brains — like breathing, stepping outdoors, or sitting with a cup of tea. Simple things! But we sure do resist.

I gotta admit, I’m resisting break time right this minute! I know I need a break because I keep getting the itch to go check email. OK Val, go eat lunch and come back to finish. Continue reading

The Secret to Easier Marketing for Self-employed Introverts

Marketing Head Spin!

Marketing Head Spin!

Marketing angst is probably the most common concern I hear from people who are self-employed or considering self-employment, so I want to bring some hope to the cause right now.

I’ve been writing a business and career advice column for introverts that appears on Quiet Revolution and Huffington Post, and most of the letters I get from self-employed people are about some kind of dislike of marketing.

Here’s a question from a self-employed service provider that captures it well. I’ll give you an excerpt from that column plus a link to read the whole answer.  Continue reading

3 Quick, Easy, Effective, and Free Steps To Get Clients

You will rarely find those 4 words together: Quick, Easy, Effective, and Free. So I recommend you take this seriously because you might not find that combination again.

These are concrete steps that get real results. I’ll walk you through step by step. No catch. I’m just providing this list because I see too many people struggling when it can be much easier.

No need to go take another marketing webinar, read another book, make more lists, or wonder if you should hire that telemarketer who “can get you listed in Google.” Let those go for now.

These steps are bound to help you attract clients sooner than any of those things can do.

Pre-requisites? The only thing you need before these will work is that you have something to offer that you believe in and that you know has value to others. You don’t need a website or business cards before doing these things.

I’ve explained each step clearly so it’s easy to go step-by-step. Let’s begin.  Continue reading

Addicted to Social Media, Anyone?

Every year I go to a fun relaxed day of learning called Podcamp, where we learn from each other about the latest in social media.

As I think about what social media topics most interest me, the one that rises to the top is how to stay out of the addictive nature of social media. So I decided to sort out my thoughts about it here and then maybe I’ll lead a session on this topic.

I think I’ll even ask everyone in the session to power down their technology, and find out what happens. Withdrawal? Real connections?

Here are my thoughts about the problem and some solutions. And don’t miss the fun Muppets video that will give you some relief right away.  Continue reading