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Calm Business Encyclopedia

3 Unconventional Productivity Hacks for Sensitive People

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Productivity advice is not in short supply but what if you’re a sensitive person and “normal” productivity tips don’t work for you?

This article (and accompanying video) comes from our personal experience.

Caroline 👩🏻‍🦰 is a highly sensitive person and has dealt with anxiety as well as a unique eye condition (Binocular Vision Dysfunction).

Jason and Caroline Zook Productivity


The reason we’re sharing those things is because all the typical productivity advice doesn’t work for her and how her mind/body operates – maybe you can relate?

If you’re a sensitive person, someone who experiences mood-driven fluctuations in their energy and motivation levels and standard productivity tips aren’t working for you, we have 3 strategies for you to try!

Green Shape

Three Unique Productivity Strategies for Sensitive People

First and most important, it’s crucial to remember that your productivity doesn’t define your worth.

We reject hustle culture around these parts and, instead, embrace that we all work differently and have individual circumstances to navigate.

Productivity and Self-Worth


The three productivity strategies we’re about to share were created by a sensitive person and have been proven to work in OUR specific situation. There’s no “silver bullet” offered here, just some helpful tactics you can experiment with!

Productivity Strategy #1 for Sensitive People: Energy Match and Batch

Traditional productivity advice often revolves around the concept of batching tasks on specific days, such as designating one day for planning, another for filming, and so on.

While this approach works for some, it may not be suitable for sensitive individuals who experience varying energy levels throughout the week.

Here’s how to adapt the Energy Match and Batch strategy to your unique needs:

♻️  Monthly Energy Rhythms

If you have a hormone cycle, acknowledge the natural patterns it brings. On days when your energy is at its lowest, plan less demanding tasks or schedule extra breaks.

📉  Daily Energy Patterns

Recognize your daily energy pattern. If you’re most energetic in the morning, tackle your most challenging tasks during this time, reserving easier ones for the afternoon.

🎉  Event-Specific Energy Rhythms

Tailor your schedule around events that require different types of energy. If you have a high-energy coffee meeting, schedule a low-energy task immediately afterward to allow for recovery.

The key takeaway is flexibility. Give yourself the ability to shift your schedule daily based on your mood and energy levels.

Productivity by Energy Levels


Productivity Strategy #2: The Throttle Method

Okay, okay, the name might need a little work 🙊 but the concept is effective! The Throttle Method allows you to be flexible and compassionate with yourself while still accomplishing tasks.

The Throttle Method operates on a scale from -2 to +2, with your baseline energy level as 0:

The reason this method works is you adjust your expectations AND your effort according to your daily capacity. Instead of letting a pre-planned day of tasks overwhelm you, you can throttle up or down your effort to meet that day’s energy level.

Here’s what the Throttle Method looks like when applied to choosing focus tools (starting with +2 at the top and -2 at the bottom):

Productivity Throttle Method


Productivity Strategy #2: Emotional Portals

No, unfortunately, we haven’t figured out some quantum space/time trick 😂. Emotional portals lean into the idea of harnessing the power of emotions to boost your productivity.

The concept here is very simple and it’s likely you’ve done some version of it: You want to create a list of items that transport you into specific emotional states, such as songs, videos, poems, or activities.

Now, the real trick with Emotional Portals is to LINK your emotional state items TO a specific situation that requires some form of productivity.

Here are the four productivity types and emotional portals that work for us:

Productivity Emotional Portals


Take a minute to identify what your emotional portals would be for Focus, Extroversion, Brainstorming, and Decision Making. Then, next week, try to have them on tap as you go through your workdays.

By leveraging these emotional portals, you can seamlessly transition into the right mindset for various tasks, regardless of your current mood.

Fuzzy Donut

Productivity Tips for Sensitive People Wrap-Up!

We believe sensitive individuals possess a unique superpower – the ability to work with their emotions and moods rather than against them.

Give the three unconventional productivity strategies tailored to mood-driven people a try: Energy Match and Batch, the Throttle Method, and Emotional Portals.

Remember, productivity should adapt to you, not the other way around!

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