It wasn’t until I began to create more time for meditations, solo trips, long walks, and writing time that I realized I was an ambivert. On one hand, I am a very social person. On the other hand, I need to get away from people a little while every day too.
I used to dedicate all my free time and space to keeping up, catching up, and hustling. There was always something to do and there were always some people to meet. Instead of feeling good, I ended up feeling exhausted all the time.
When the pandemic started, it gave me a newfound bliss. I noticed that the more time I spend alone, the more energy I have for my friends or my work.
Quite recently I have been following the strategy proposed by Tim Harford. Before I commit to a meeting or a project, I would ask myself:
If I had to do this today, would I agree to it?
By asking this, I try to feel the pain of “yes” immediately, rather than at some point to be specified later. If I could feel instantly and viscerally my eventual annoyance at having to keep my promises, I would make fewer foolish promises in the first place.
Now I meet less people, I commit to fewer projects, and I do less things. These days when my friends ask me what I’d do for the weekends, most of the times I will answer with “no plan” or “just chillin”. And I couldn’t be happier.
I love spending time with people I love. However, the only way I can really be there for them and truly connect & engage is by spending time alone.