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).
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!
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.
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 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:
- -2: Set the bar as low as possible, considering minimal effort an achievement.
- -1: Lower your expectations, be lenient with yourself, and incorporate extra breaks.
- 0 (Baseline): Stick to your schedule and meet expectations.
- +1: Tighten your schedule and minimize breaks to maximize productivity.
- +2: Push yourself beyond your usual limits, taking full advantage of your surplus energy.
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 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:
- 👩💻 Focus: Use a particular genre of music or playlist that enhances concentration when you need it most. We like to queue up a Synthwave Playlist on Spotify for this.
- 🧑🎤 Extroversion: When it’s time to step out of our introverted turtle shells, nothing beats a great pump-up song. Our go-to is Whitney Houston’s I Wanna Dance With Somebody.
- 🧠 Brainstorming: If creative thinking is on the docket, this is when we have two options. We either opt for a Lofi/Chillhop Mix or if we’re working together it’s Pop Punk Radio 😂 #90sbabies.
- ☑️ Decision Making: We like to go with calming or introspective music when we have tasks that require us to tap into our intuition. Any Coffeehouse Playlist works here!
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.
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!