5 Ways An Extrovert Has Thrived While Working From Home
A normal day for “First Rate Kate” is to get up and get ready as quickly as possible, grab my breakfast, and get out the door. I race to the office in order to eat breakfast while checking emails. That’s how much I like to be in our space with my First Rate family and it’s your first signal that I get my energy from being with people. By the end of the morning, I’ve usually travelled our myriad hallways to say a quick ‘hello’ to anyone who can look up. I live one mile from the office, so it just never made sense for me to set up a home office. Outside of my in-office days, I get to travel two to three times a month doing my favorite things:
- Meeting new people.
- Talking about how First Rate might be able to help them.
- Seeing some place new.
So, while I am completely committed to the wisdom of ‘sheltering-at-home’, this situation has been, I’ll just say it, traumatic for me. Week one was a novelty and though I felt a little distracted, I bounced from meeting to meeting seeing my favorite faces thinking “I can do anything for two weeks!” Week two has been a bit more challenging as reality has set in. I’m checking social media all the time to connect with someone… ANYONE. I’m watching my team’s chat windows with a real hunger to see them interacting. True connection has become a challenge.
I’m so thankful I don’t live alone and am truly concerned for those who do. I’ve had tons of Zoom meetings with friends near and far to stay as connected as possible. So, what is going to be my strategy to get through this and continue to build connections? Here’s my top 5 with a bonus:
- Share Good News in LinkedIn: Sharing verified information as well as the great things companies and their team members are doing for their communities is energizing for me. People in action!
- LinkedIn Inbox: Sending a Linked In message to ‘check in’ with someone lets them know I’m thinking of them and gives them permission to respond when they are able.
- Take That Call with Video: I know, everyone is doing it, but the more faces I see (not photos), the better I feel. So think of others and not just your bed head. You could be saving an extrovert! Have a baseball cap handy and put on a non-pajama top like John Krasinski.
- Five Minute Chats: Peruse my teammate’s calendars and choose a light day to put a 5-minute video chat on their calendar. I’m targeting the other extroverts first!
- Plan Something to Look Forward To: I don’t know how things will look when we come out of this. However, I’m going to get together with my fellow planners and start working on experiences for my team and clients and friends to mark the occasion. Just the anticipation of being with people is a big help for me.
- Lagniappe (a little extra something): Grow My Inner Introvert:
- Be Fully Present for One Minute: Don’t label anything, don’t think anything, just BE.
- Art Journaling / Creating: Create something every night and reflect on that day’s experience. Now that the weather’s nice, perhaps some pottery and a break from binging Ozark.
- Play Music: Indulge in sound. I’d have made a fortune off other extroverts if I’d invented “Office Sounds White Noise”.
- Smudge the House with sage: It is so refreshing and surprisingly uplifting.
- Take Care of Myself: Keep tracking calories, walk, get outside, get ready for work, WASH MY HAIR!
- Virtual Communal Prayer Time: One of my pastors is doing Facebook Live Prayer for 20 minutes every morning. The anticipation of seeing other people helps me leap out of bed instead of lingering and moping. Having some silent time to reflect on scripture is growing me from the inside.
Being an extrovert doesn’t look the same as it once did. However, I can still connect in a non-demanding way and I can still anticipate the return of good days to come. Hopefully, by taking good care of ourselves and our community now, the damage will be minimized. If you’re an extrovert, be gentle with yourself as you navigate each day. Don’t hesitate to reach out to someone. Also, share with me how you’re continuing to connect!