Why is it that no matter what time management tool you use to structure your schedule, you still feel overloaded and burnt out? How do you beat burn out?
Because just like your time, your energy and capacity to focus are limited resources–but they aren’t factored into the equation.
We may all have the same twenty-four hours in a day, but when you feel most focused, how much energy you have, when you have it, what drains you, and what you need to recoup, these things all vary from person to person.
I call it your personal Introversion/Extroversion Ratio, and it will change how you think of time management forever to help you beat burn out.
What is Your Personal Introversion/Extroversion Ratio?
Think of it this way: we all live on a spectrum of Extroversion and Introversion, and each of us has specific energetic needs rooted in our personal ratio.
An extreme extrovert can be totally ON, interacting with a group of folks for an hour, and need only to steal away to the bathroom for a moment to themselves to feel restored and rebalanced.
Meanwhile, an hour of fully ON, engaged group interaction can be utterly depleting for a profound introvert, leaving them exhausted and needing far longer to recover their energetic baseline.
Most of us live somewhere on the spectrum between these two personalities, but the dramatic differences between their experiences help illustrate my point.
The problem with most traditional approaches to time management is that they don’t structure your time to moderate what energizes you and what depletes your energy and attention.
When you understand your personal Introversion/Extroversion Ration, you can plan your time to honor these intrinsic needs, and ensure your schedule isn’t structured to run you ragged.
How to Take Back Your Time and Your Energy
Many of my Catapult clients find that after any task that requires them to put on their “public face”–like internal team meetings, coffee dates, client lunches, or structured networking circles–they typically need a similar amount of quiet time to balance and restore their focus and energy. Personally, I need about 30 minutes of alone time to get me back to equilibrium in these cases.
On the other hand, if I’m on stage giving an hour-long speech and need to be present and available for questions and conversations with participants for another hour after, I know that I’ll need at least four to five hours of alone time to reset.
But so many business owners aren’t aware of these deeper needs, or we don’t know how to use that awareness to support ourselves more fully, or we think we just don’t have the time.
Instead, we push through until our productivity is in the toilet and we’re out of capacity, without really understanding why, how to recover, or what to do to prevent it from happening again.
Here’s the answer: If you want to manage your time so that you can be your most productive and effective, your schedule has to accommodate your Introversion/Extroversion Ratio.
Uncovering Your Personal Introversion/Extroversion Ratio
If you want to understand your personal Introversion/Extroversion Ratio, you need to look at what you need in terms of ON time (external/output) and IN time (internal/input).
⇒ How much renewal time do you need for yourself for every ten minutes you spend engaged with others?
⇒ What kinds of tasks or activities require more energy from you than your typical ON time?
⇒ How much more renewal time do you need to recover after doing those things?
Let’s say that you personally need 30 minutes to restore yourself for every hour you spend engaged with someone else. Then your calendar needs to reflect that an hour-long meeting or appointment actually requires 90 minutes on your schedule.
Hello, room to breathe.
Restore, Renew, Refuel
The ‘Masters’ level of implementation here is to create a list of activities that renew you and refill your cup. Every time you engage with a task that drains your energy, commit to scheduling your window of restorative activity after the fact. Draw guidance and inspiration from your list as needed.
In my world, restoring my energy reserves might look like taking the dogs out for a walk, getting comfy and reading a good book, or lying on my bed and scrolling TikTok. There are even some business admin tasks that actually help me reset in the same way.
As someone who is more extroverted than introverted, connecting with a friend or client can also fill up my energy bank, even if I used it up by leading a class or having a sales conversation. Knowing this about myself empowers me to manage my time so that my schedule supports my personal needs, and I can deliver the level of support my clients and my business need.
Making time work for you is an essential part of running your business as the CEO rather than your business running you into the ground.
Be honest with yourself about what depletes you. Then build a schedule that balances the demands of your output with dedicated, restorative input. Personal productivity unlocked.