Highly sensitive people enjoy accomplishing the big tasks where we are able to find application for our deep-thinking abilities and conscientiousness. To get to those goals, it’s often a matter of structuring how we approach work to reflect several tenants outlined in this article: minimize distractions, do intense, consistent work, and establish important priorities.
Distractions are plentiful today as our smart phones beckon constantly with an endless freedom to distract, entertain, inform, and just waste time. Similarly, where we work can be crucial to getting any meaningful work done. For some of us who are sensitive sensation seekers, we need to, at times, work in an environment with others for the synergy; alone at other times. For highly sensitive people, the preference may be simply to find a quiet space and a block of time to think deeply and begin to concretize our thinking. Thinking doesn’t become real to us until we concretize it by setting it down on paper (or screen as the case may be).
Feeling distracted can also come in the form of hunger, sleepiness, or anxiety about some issue. All may intrude on our working space and distract us from focusing on what we really need to. Focusing intensely on a subject by simply shutting the outside world out will allow you to enter the state of flow where time is suspended, your skills and abilities are well-matched to the task (but not over or undermatched), you receive immediate feedback on your work, and you will be intensely focused and conscientious about remaining so for a period of time.
Part of focusing in on a task is to set priorities. That doesn’t mean multitasking and doing ten things at once (all poorly); rather, it means we consciously choose the most important tasks then begin to work on those in a very structured way. Consistency of applied effort will get you much further than spurts or bursts of frenzied work with the added benefit of time to reflect and consider the quality of your work. There is a necessary pause to reflect instinct built into HSPs that serves to check our work (or the work of others). This propensity makes us very good planners, teachers, thinkers, writers, leaders, and designers.
Why does all of this matter to you? Because in today’s world, it is becoming increasingly difficult to do intense, focused work or to find others who we can communicate with about such work. Ironically, it comes back to those of us who spent much time in the libraries looking up books and reading them quietly while everyone else did whatever it is they do. The quiet people know the value of being free from distractions and engaging the mind’s capacities. We know how deep thinking works and how to bring it to bear on a complex set of issues. In our shallow, superficial world, we may be among the few left who know anymore how to use our rational and creative thinking capacities and use them for other than selfish egocentric or sociocentric purposes.
It is diminishing, of course, to generalize about highly sensitive people (all one billion plus of us) because we are all very different from each other and work in different ways. The common threads being a need for quiet, a need for focus and consistency, and a prioritizing of our how we invest our energies on meaningful projects.
Highly sensitive people are in ALL professions; there is no one best profession or career for a highly sensitive person! Do what works for you knowing that life is always a journey that requires you to experiment along the way with what may work in your case. That’s not the easy answer but I’m not interested in providing you with easy answers; I’m interested in helping you live your fullest and best life.
What works for you in accomplishing BIG things?
Thrive: The Highly Sensitive Person and Career
Thrill: The High Sensation Seeking Highly Sensitive Person
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