OK. So you’re a person who gets their energy from others. Now, because of the Covid-19 pandemic, you’re stuck in the house all day, trying to work remotely through your computer.
At Type Pro we know a thing or two about different Personality Types, so we have produced this guide to surviving social distancing and self-isolation.
Now we’re certainly not saying that Extraverts can’t work by themselves. That’s simply not true, and many Extraverts that we talk to say that they do some great work by themselves. The challenge is keeping this going for a long period of time, particularly now that your traditional sources of energy and support have changed so dramatically.
So, here are five tips:
1. Have Regular ‘Reconnect’ Breaks
The number one thing for you to keep your energy levels going is to make sure that you’ve got regular opportunities to really reconnect with people. To be effective, this should be a chance to speak out loud.
For example, one of my client teams have started scheduling ‘coffee chats’ where the whole team can come online at the same time and talk about non-work-related topics.
So look for opportunities to create something like this for yourself.
Of course the real challenge is if you’re an Extravert who happens to not be very structured… If this rings true for you, like it does for me, then you might need to find those people who don’t mind you calling up unannounced to bounce ideas off them!
2. Watch For Those Small Distractions
As an Extravert you’re on the lookout for external sources of energy, so when you’re trying to focus and get things done by yourself, those little distractions will always appear.
The challenge for you is getting the right balance between recharging your batteries and avoiding constant small distractions.
As an example, I’ve got this great WhatsApp group with some colleagues where we can keep each other going, but the temptation to check it every 37 seconds is pretty high. And it does give me energy; the problem is that it’s a very tempting distraction.
So my hint here is turn off notifications for set periods, and then have a ‘recharge’ break when you can reply to everything. It’s not easy, though, when that last ping has just come in… I’ll be back in a sec!
In addition many Extraverts say that messaging and texting online is useful, but doesn’t quite hit the right note for recharging their batteries, and I’d agree with them.
For me, it provides short (admittedly addictive) bursts of energy, but it’s not really recharging me properly. It feels more like eating some sweets – it’s nice and I get some energy, but I really should be eating some proper meals if I want to have energy all day.
So look for some regular opportunities to get quality connection time that will last you through to the next one.
3. Turn On Video
I’ve done a fair share of online work through Type Pro, so I’m pretty familiar with running training online. What I hadn’t noticed when I began working solely from home is that this doesn’t really recharge my Extraversion in anything like the same way as being in real room with a dozen people.
The thing I’ve noticed that does make a huge difference is asking everyone involved to turn their cameras on.
I find that the additional sense of a real conversation I get from a video chat helps to keep my energy levels up. Plus, there’s the added advantage that face-to-face conversation makes it way easier to understand what someone really means, and this goes double when you’re from different cultures or languages, as so much of our facial communication is universal.
That said, now that everyone’s working from home, I’m finding that some people aren’t getting themselves ‘camera ready’ first thing, in the same way that they would do if they were heading into the office.
Therefore it’s best to let people know in advance you want cameras on, or you might find a surprising number of mysteriously broken cameras. Now this does mean that I have to change out of my pyjamas, but it’s worth it in the end!
4. Some People Need Space
Not everyone wants to be in constant communication, so look out for signs that people need to have some focussed time.
Introverts often say that they really need to get into the ‘zone’ in order to be at their best, and this will often take the form of a 45-60 minute slot.
So, watch for the temptation to keep checking in with everyone and dropping messages, links and calls. You might want to arrange formal times when people in your team can be ‘offline’ in order to really focus, or to say when it’s OK to turn off availability on whatever instant messaging software you’re using.
You might even take a moment to reflect on how this may apply to those you share a house with…
5. Talk It Through
As an Extravert, you do your best processing when you can talk things through. So watch for the temptation to keep absorbing all that online news if you’re lacking the opportunity to process any of it out loud.
For Extraverts it can become quite overwhelming to have all that information, stats, pictures and scary graphs whirling round your head without an outlet.
I find that forwarding stuff on electronically doesn’t quite achieve the same processing as actually talking about it. So find a friend, loved one or colleague that you can actually talk out loud to, or you might find yourself, like one of my Extraverted friends, yelling at strangers out of your window for not obeying social distancing rules in the street.
OK folks, there you have it, my Extravert’s guide to surviving the lockdown. A guide for Introverts will follow, once I’ve recharged with a good video chat!
In the meantime, keep yourselves happy, productive and safe.
About Type Pro
Our personality assessment training blends distance and interactive learning, and is delivered online by experts with at least 15 years’ experience.
Because of our unique online delivery, you can fit our training around your busy work schedule and complete it at your own pace. Above all, you can access it from work or from home. This reduces cost, travel expenses and time out of the office, and yet you can still collaborate with other delegates from across the globe.