Skip to main content

Why introverts guard their time so fiercely

Man checking the time

If I asked what the most precious asset we have in life is, what would you say?

Money? No, we can always recoup that.

Love? We can find it in different people and places.

Health? While important, a person can reverse a decline if they act soon enough -- whether by losing weight, going to the doctor more often, and so on.

So what is the most precious resource we have, you ask?

It's none other than time, and introverts are cognizant of it.

Sure, you can find ways to better organize your time so that there's more of it to go around -- whether for friends, hobbies, or sheer relaxation. 

Perhaps it entails taking a less demanding job, moving closer to work to shave time off your commute, or using services like Uber Eats and Instacart to have food delivered. It's about doing little things to tweak your daily routine so that less time is spent on minutiae. 

But here's the thing: No matter what you do tomorrow, today isn't coming back -- ever.

The time you're spending reading this post (which I appreciate dearly) is time you could have been spending doing something else -- and that you will never get back. So I hope you feel it's well worth it!

This is why it's so imperative we make the most of every day we're given. Spend time with those you love. Indulge your hobbies. Explore. Life is short, and tomorrow is never promised.

So you might be wondering how introverts figure into all of this.

To put into perspective how much we value our time:
  • We don't like small talk. Unless you want to engage us in deep conversation, please keep walking. Time spent talking about hair clips and the neighbor's new lawnmower is time that can be allocated toward reading, writing, or discourse on the cosmos.
  • We loathe attending meetings and social functions we deem pointless. That goes double for ones where there's a lot of unnecessary noise and people. If it can be handled by phone or Zoom -- a much less chaotic alternative -- why not go that route? 
  • We keep a small circle of friends. Our time is precious. Too much of it should never be invested into superficial relationships with people whom tomorrow may not even remember our name. (Facebook, anyone?)
  • We love dedicating time to our passions. Many of us are artists, writers, dreamers. Deeply introspective, we're serious about farming out sufficient time to those hobbies and activities that make us come alive. 
  • We don't like people telling us what to do with our time. Respect our boundaries. Just because you'd spend your time differently doesn't mean we're doing anything wrong. 
If you're an introvert who feels like time in your own life is outside of your control, it's time to take stock. 

If your job or relationship is eating up too much of your time, assess why. The key is to balance our time in such a way that we feel it's well distributed between our relationships, hobbies, and job. 

While an entrepreneur might have no qualms about putting 60 hours into his business each week, a worker bee in Corporate America may be looking to draw the line at 40 hours. 

If your boyfriend is very possessive of your time -- expecting you to be there at his beck and call, to the detriment of the other relationships in your life -- a serious talk is probably long overdue. Nobody owns your time. 

This notion of introverts being fiercely protective of their time might strike others as selfishness. 

While that may hold true for some, it doesn't apply to all of us. You can't put all introverts in the same stereotypical bucket. 

People have to recognize that our social batteries run low after exposure to and interaction with lots of people over the course of the day.

The more we interact with folks, the more time we have to spend in solitude recharging those batteries. That, in turn, means less time for friends, hobbies, and all of the other stuff we love to do. 

It's nothing personal. The issue is that if we aren't careful, we might find ourselves directing inordinate amounts of time toward things that bring us little fulfillment. 


Popular posts from this blog

Introverts, find your voice -- and let it be heard!

Introverts are, by their very nature, unassuming.  The last thing we want to do is draw attention to ourselves, whether it be promoting our accomplishments at work in hopes of landing a promotion, talking up our best traits on a blind date, or speaking up when on the receiving end of someone's unseemly behavior. But finding our inner voice is imperative. We must never let anyone -- and that includes ourselves -- silence it. It doesn't mean you have to turn surly, treating others like they're beneath you.  But you should never let yourself become anyone's doormat either. You're your own chief advocate. If you don't stand up for yourself, no one will.  Never feel too embarrassed or guilty to speak honestly and respectfully in support of your goals, values, and beliefs.  I'm not saying you need to become a masterful public speaker, or that you should pretend to be a Know-It-All.  Instead, what I'm saying is never to let anyone suppress your voice. You have

Do introverts always want to be alone?

It's a common misconception that introverts want to be left alone all the time. Sure, we're not as prone as extroverts to becoming lonely and irritable in our own company, but that doesn't mean we avoid social interactions like the plague. We like to socialize, only in smaller doses than our more extroverted peers.  Here's how to keep us from exhausting our energy reserves: 1. Allow us small breaks to disconnect every now and then . Don't take offense to our wanting to go for a walk or take a nap. Perhaps we're drained after spending the day in drawn-out meetings.  2. A stampede of people? No, thanks.  Keep it to a small group of no more than 5 to 10 people, if possible. Introverts feel far more in their element when they can engage in one-on-one conversation. For us, more people usually translates to small talk on steroids. Needless to say, there aren't many things we loathe more than mindless chit-chat. 3. Don't block the exits. Heavy noise and commoti

My bumpy road to discovering I am an introvert

From an early age, I knew there was something about me -- my personality, my temperament -- that differentiated me from my peers. I just didn't know what it was. I sensed I was more retiring, less hungry for attention, and more at ease in solitude than most people.  Now that I'm an adult and comfortable in my introversion, I wouldn't have it any other way. I'm proud of my uniqueness, and every introvert on this page ought to be as well.  That isn't to say the road to self-awareness has been an easy one.  Whether at school or work, I've lost count of the number of people over the years who've either questioned or criticized my quiet, unassuming disposition.  In the workplace, supervisors and co-workers have pulled no punches with their biting sarcasm, saying things like "Hey, keep it down over here. You're too loud!" For whatever reason, it makes some folks uneasy when there's someone at work who keeps to themselves. They might suspect they&