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What Freelancers Do When Sick

Updated on December 12, 2012

How are you today?

I do hope you are feeling well, but as everyone knows we all get sick one day or another. Unlike employee workers, freelancers never get paid sick time. Yes, there is a ton of perks that go hand in hand with freelancing, but sick time is not one of them. However, an illness does not have to ruin your whole schedule either; there are things you can do to keep on track when an illness occurs.

What to Do When You’re Sick

Finally, you’re your own boss and it feels like you are in heaven, but then all of a sudden you are not feeling well. Now you are probably wishing you could call up your boss and tell them that you do not feel well, so you will not be able to make it into work today. Sadly, you remember that you are the boss and you cannot call in sick.

Just when you think life could not get any worse you get sick at the worst possible time. Usually right before a huge deadline; do not fret though there are steps you can take to make a bad situation good if you truly want to .

Stay Calm

Stressing yourself out will not make any situation better it will only make your situation worse. Stress also contributes to many illnesses and can make your symptoms worse, so if you keep calm you may feel a tiny bit better even on your sluggish day. Even though things seem bad, at the moment, the end result of the situation will turn out just fine.

Assess the Situation

Things may not be as bad as you are conjuring up. However, being a freelancer it allows a lot of flexibility when it comes to scheduling. Figure out what needs to be done at this very second and put off what you can until either the next day or when you feel better. Just remember do not put off too many assignments because you still have to keep your clients deadlines in time.

Cut out the Nonessential Tasks

When you’re sick the last thing you should be concerning yourself with is tasks that will not be making you any money. Granted you may have messages from potential clients and such, but they can always wait until the next day. When you’re sick you should put off doing tasks that are really not important and focus on the tasks that need to get done that day.

Contact a Buddy to Back You Up

Always have a network of other freelancers that can help you if/when you fall ill. You may be able to outsource all or even some of your tasks that you need to get done for that day. Yes, it may suck if you need the money, but what is more important getting better or making yourself sicker to finish your work?

Take a Nap, or Two

Sleep is one of the most important things that you can do when you are sick. Sleep helps heal the body, yet many freelancers are notorious for not getting enough sleep as they should. The key to keeping your immune system in check is get enough sleep and when you are sick allow yourself to rest more than usual. If you keep very lousy let yourself take a nap during the day and do not put so much pressure on to yourself.

Work Sick

This is probably the last resort, but sometimes it is the only way. This usually goes for the projects that you are close to finishing or projects that are particularly complicated and you do not want to explain all the details. However, take your time and do a thorough job that is the last thing you want to do is do a half job. You are more like to make this mistake when you are sick than when you are not.

Ask for a Project Extension

Always keep in mind that your clients are human too. They get sick just like you and they know that their contractors will get sick occasionally. Correspond with them and casually ask if you can get an extension. The worse possible answer is no, but if they have some leeway they will more than likely give you an extension, especially if you have a good record with them in the past. If you do not, then you will less likely get an extension.


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    • cmahan profile image

      Chrystal Mahan 5 years ago from Michigan

      If you are like me, you end up pushing(working) through your sickness.