FOO Camp: Introvert Hacks

Foo Camp 2014 is an unconference hosted by O’Reilly Media where sessions such as “Introvert Hacks” are suggested and scheduled by the attendees themselves.


  • Scheduling, tracking:
    • Track energy level on Google calendar. If you have a few-to-several low energy days in a row, schedule a “do nothing” day.
    • When getting invited to hang out, say “no” first, then “maybe”.
      • Next, put it on the calendar. When the time comes for the event, you can then decide if it feels right to go.
      • If you do decide to go, limit your time there. E.g., stay for one hour or portion of the event.
    • Schedule on the calendar a “do nothing” weekend
    • You don’t need to be everywhere, embrace JoMO or Joy of Missing Out
    • Try to be realistic with your workload
      • “Past-Me is really ambitious compared to Current-Me”
      • Don’t get upset with yourself when you pile on work.
  • Related to conference events:
    • At a conference, give yourself compassion to take breaks so you can maintain people skills.
    • Speaking at an event is better than being an attendee for an introvert since at a large number of people will hear what you have to say and, if they want, seek you out to follow-up after your talk.
    • When giving a presentation, focus on 3–4 key people in an audience when speaking. Talk to them, don’t get fluster yourself looking into a sea of people.
  • Conversation tips:
    • Frame a question in terms of “First”, “Best”, “Last”, “Worst”. E.g. “what was the best thing that happened to you at XYZ company?”
    • “What was the most interesting thing you saw/learned/did today?”
    • After someone tells you what they do, simply say, “That sounds hard.”
    • Get a service dog to get others to start the conversation.
    • Exit conversations by saying:
      • “I’ll be right back.”
      • “I’ll be a second.”
      • “It was nice meeting you.”
      • “Alright. All the best.”
  • On finding quiet:
    • Use Musician earplugs for bars, large networking events, etc.
    • One of the greatest things you can do is change the venue of a conversation with someone.
      • While it moves the conversation to somewhere quieter, it signals to the other person that you want to focus on them and what they have to say.
      • Change the noise level by suggesting a move to a new, nearby location. Feeling adventurous? Invite the other away from the venue completely for something new.
  • Making the most of your alone time:
    • Use earplugs, if needed.
    • Meditate, if it suits you.
    • Write down in a journal, like DayOne app, one thing you are grateful each day
    • Schedule your alone time for first thing every day as way to pay yourself first before giving your time, energy, and resources to others.
  • Recommended reading:

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