What, no book to read?

It is common to see me awaiting an appointment with my eyes glued to the pages of an open book. My recent choice is Susan Cain’s Quiet – The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. It is full of great research, stories and insight.

So when I arrived at this morning’s first appointment more than 10 minutes ahead of schedule, I was anguished at forgetting to pack Cain’s book in my bag. Drats! And I intended to leave this appointment to arrive early at the next, knowing I wanted more reading time. Now it wasn’t going to happen.

We introverts aren’t trying to avoid conversation with people when we pull out our books. It’s just that we so enjoy the private moments that daily downtime creates in keeping us up in our research. I could have looked around the restaurant I was in to see who to start a conversation with, but instead I decided to play to my strengths.

I whipped out a moleskin where I jot down notes for future blog posts – stories, insights, profound expressions or ideas that come to me through the day. Writing is another activity I have grown to enjoy, as long as I have ideas in mind to work with. Through a National Speakers’ Association training called Protrack I have been coached to keep a small journal – a bound moleskin is perfect – handy for these quick notes. Since I keep it with me at all times, I have my idea list ready. Jotting down notes in my moleskin kept me busy until my appointment companion arrived. Whether I use this for writing in my blog, creating new stories for my presentations or future dialogue with others, I have a ready vat of information.

So this time it was to support the post in what do you do when you have no book to read but time on your hands? Extroverts may pull out their smart phones to scan through recent updates on their family/friends profiles or accounts when they have downtime. Many of us introverts detest being idle, so if we are playing to our strengths we are either reading or writing, usually in the traditional manner. Putting pen to paper, cracking open a good read or making a list of To Do’s.

What do you do with your downtime? I would enjoy seeing the results of this question. And if you don’t have your first pick handy, then what? Please comment.

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On March 15th, 2012, posted in: introverts, leisure activities, Susan Cain by