Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Finding your rhythm

It's really important for introverts, especially those that have degrees of social interactions in their job, to learn their rhythms. They need to monitor and discover when they have high degrees of emotional and social energy and when they need to retreat for a while.

Now that I have been in my chaplain position for about three months, I am starting to learn how my energy rhythm and demands of the job intersect. In some ways, it's an ideal job for an introvert, because 1) Most of the interactions are one on one and 2) Because I visit people in their homes over a wide geographical area, I have solitude in my car between visits. That might explain why more than half of our chaplains are introverts.

I have learned that the bulk of my social energy comes in the afternoon, after I have had some solitude in the morning. So I try to book my appointments in the afternoons, and do other work in the mornings. When I am working in the office, I need to take a lunch break away from the office on my own in order to recharge. I also need to take a couple of breaks during the day, when I take a walk or go get coffee. I make sure to book appointments with about a half hour in between. I also need to get some time at home in the early evening, so that I can recharge before my wife gets home. And I try to make sure that at least one night a week, preferably right in the middle of the week, I get a night on my own as well. This way I can be ready for the last two days of the week without feeling totally exhausted.