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Topics: New Practitioners
Introvert issues in Project Management
I did an "introvert" search, and most of the results seemed to focus on PMs who aren't outgoing or who might be defined as "shy."

I'm referring to the narrow definition as those of us who are worn out by interacting with others and need time to recharge.

This means that I can write the emails, do the meetings, have the hard conversations, but by the end of the day, I am completely wiped out. I feel like I need a few days to recover, but we all know it doesn't work like that.

Are there any of you who recognize that you are introverted in the same sense described, and what do you do to manage?

Thank you.
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These are typical characteristics of an introverted personality, and you shouldn't be afraid to feel in this manner. You can equilibrate your activities, recharging when performing your only-self task, when you are at your desk managing and controlling every project.
I find that having smaller breaks during the day makes it easier to recharge your batteries than running yourself down until you're exhausted at the end of the day. When you know you're going to have some difficult conversations or a lot of other interactions, try to set up some planning time afterwards to do the solo tasks like emails.

I also find that getting away from my desk for short breaks like a walk around the building can help reset my mind-frame more quickly. Exercise or engaging in hobbies after work also helps me turn off the inner dialogue from the day's stress by focusing on something else where you must be entirely present.
Monica -

Some quiet decompress time at the end of the day is essential. If there's too much happening on the home front, stop at the park on the way home and enjoy a quiet walk.

Kiron
If project management was only about stakeholder engagement, you would find a lot of extroverts in that profession. The fact that project management requires much more to get "things done" is where introversion becomes useful. For example, problem resolution and risk management requires thinking and self-review.

The nice thing about getting older (wiser?) is that we tend to move towards the middle of the extroversion-introversion spectrum. I, myself, am now slightly extrovert. I do get energy from being with the right people. (I am a member of a Toastmasters breakfast club. Those early meetings energize me for the rest of my day.) On the other hand, I still enjoy some "downtime".
First and foremost, remember to give yourself a break. Coming out of the pandemic, our reserves are depleted and we have had little opportunity to replenish them. Add the nature of PM work and it's a recipe for exhaustion. It can be like running a marathon at a sprint pace all week long.

Working remotely has also been a challenge. Less opportunity to interact with people on a casual basis means fewer water cooler conversations and less opportunity to develop relationships. That is important even for us introverts :) Making small talk at the start of virtual meetings falls flat...people are tired which makes dealing with the problems at hand even more stressful.

It is essential to take time to refresh. For me it is morning walks, intentional breaks throughout the day, weekly hikes in the mountains, and making music with a local group. Whatever you do to recharge, build it into your schedule, prioritize making time for it, and give yourself permission to invest in it.
Theater and acting classes can help
A moment of silence and relaxation can help.
I am also introverted in this way, and I try to combat it by not making all of my meetings back-to-back, so I have a minute to lock my computer screen and breathe after one meeting but before the next. I also am working on not taking my work home with me. If a project is stressful during my workday, it's ok, but I separate from it once I leave the office - going into work physically has helped with this.
Hi! Introvert over here! To be honest is difficult to be one when you´re a PM an have teams to lead. In my experience, I use my "introvert superpowers" like my skills to analyse, to listening, to be able to read between the lines. I also have to push my self confidence to show and talk about my ideas and perspective, and sometimes I have to practice how to (because my ideas sounds better in my head than when I speak). Being introvert shouldn´t be a thing that prevents you from being a good PM or leader. It´s actually a gift for being a more thoughtful one.
I have no claim to being an introvert. I think that everyone should have a release valve. I schedule 5 minute breaks. One in the morning and one in the afternoon. I close my eyes and breath deeply for a few minutes. Rarely do I use all 5 minutes, but just that brief pause works wonders for me. If I do not need that 5 minute break, I do not use it.
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