Sick and Working can be a major pain, but it doesn’t have to be. Check out these ideas for being efficient on a sick day.
We have all been there before. Cough, achoo, runny nose, aching body, sick. We all have an idea of what to do when our body starts shutting down, maybe decaf tea, chicken soup, lots of sleep, water, etc. But what happens when we need to work and knock out projects?
The first thing we need to do is put things in perspective, how long do I plan to be sick? If you only have a head cold then don’t panic, you’ll only be sick a few days. Many make the mistake of panicking and freaking out about deadlines. If you are working with a boss politely inform them that you are under the weather and that your expected timelines may fall a little short a little. Most bosses are reasonable and will already assume that you are being overly optimistic and just don’t want to upset them. This will prompt some people to fear being taken advantage of, don’t worry answer all their questions.
Now would be a good time not to look at your projects, at all, if you can. If your best work comes from strong coffee, late night binges, and frequent physical activities, it’s time to scale things down a bit. If you do better when your healthy, then why waste time doing a bad job at your biggest projects? Instead focus on things you never get around to that can mean a world of a difference productivity wise.
But What if I have to Work?
No corporate sick days, work for yourself? Yep a sick day doesn’t exist.
Clear the room and setup shop in Your bed, this works great with a laptop but if you have a desktop you can always grab a blanket and pillow. Buy or ask your spouse, significant other, roommate, or someone to go to the store and grab you a Yellow Pad and the best pen they can find, trust me always buy a good Pen if you plan to accomplish anything. If they can pick up one ask them to grab a thermostat or two because the hot water does wonders, and if you wanna be productive why just get one?
List of things to Setup
-2X Thermos For Warm Water
-Caffeine Free Tea
-Fancy Pen (Seriously you’ll write more)
-The right pillows. (Yes one for the laptop so it don’t overheat or collect lint from the comforter.)
Plan Your Day
Make sure you can setup a realistic day. Don’t for example plan a video conference call and strategy session.
Here are some projects that work great from a bed:
Think about it there’s lots of management that wastes time during the day, look for a routine to speed it up stop putting out fires.
-Design or Graphic Work
If there’s a project that needs design then this is it. No phone call, video call, just simple design work with a quality focus. We all have design projects attorneys can review office forms and how they can be better made, doctors offices can work on phone scripts, and restaurants can ask if the current menu is working, there’s plenty to design.
-Anything on Excel or a Spreadsheet
Yep, working from home in a bed can feel kind of empowering from a systematic view. Build those spreadsheets that really simplify work today. They are compatible with multiple projects and it will offset the piece of mind deficit from being sick.
Why not? Who cares if you don’t use them regularly, any business that plans to grow needs an intake process so it’s a good time to work on one. It’s like doing a project, writing a training manual, and crafting a business plan, do it!
Clean that Rusty Inbox
This suggestion may come as no surprise to anyone, but if you haven’t cleaned out your inbox then just do it already. Over time I’ve come to realize that most of that old mail is not worth much, I’d much prefer a peaceful empty inbox. In the past I would keep old mail in case I ever had to prove I was right about something. I later learned people did not often respond well to referencing things they said in an email. The best case is to archive the letters and get them out of the main box, they can be searched later in most popular clients like gmail, or yahoo.
Write a Blog
That old neglected blog? No, seriously if you work for a company that has a blog, or company newsletter, and your the marketing representative, write one. There are lots of writing assignments inside companies that need to be done but are not simply because of time. Because you are a little free and most likely at home, use your outsiders approach to add some freshness to a company problem. Being in another environment can help bring creative juices to the office, it may even yield better ideas.
Because many of my clients are weight loss surgeons and need bariatric marketing, I have a list of topics that can be useful during this time. It’s best to make the list while your sick and working, here are some examples:
- Bariatric Recipes
- Support Group Topics
- Support Group Flyers
- New Studies Reports
- Healthy Tips
Organize Your Computer
Wether you freelance, use a personal computer for work, or have access to a company VPN, we all have clutter and junk. Since your hacking and sneezing why not intermittently review your folders and delete junk in them.
While deleting old files you may find old projects that fell off the band wagon, ask yourself these questions:
- How long ago was this?
- What was the goal here?
- Why did this get canned?
- Is anything salvageable?
No need to get sentimental sometimes people leave companies, or projects get canned. But whenever you find an advanced project that never saw daylight, it can be a great opportunity to reapply it to another one. These don’t have to be focused only on work, in fact many can be snuck into side gigs, or hobbies, permitting you are not infringing on company materials.
Do Side Projects
If you are already caught up on work and not interested in cleaning up around the house, then rekindle that side project you’ve been working on. It may be a book, website, or small business, just go for it. Working on it may give you new insights that can help you weigh the pros and cons of your project and may even become a full time occupation, or help during hard times. By far it’s better to feel optimistic when your sick, you may even feel a little better.
As you can see the best thing to do is not panic. While the advice here may not sound like much I can attest from personal experience, not much does when your sick. Sometimes it may be better to simply tear up your agenda and rethink the approach to projects, productivity, organization, and even personal projects.
If stress ruins productivity and distractions ruin efficiency, then being sick will put one over certainly. By fine tuning your expectations to be explorational and less ‘check box’ driven, you can weigh the value of your work and focus more closely on things that are also very important. The long term affect may actually be an increase in productivity or even better a well adjusted work outlook.
-New Content Added
-Fixed a few awkward phrasings.
Grammatical errors, and incomplete thoughts fixed.