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How to Get Work Done When You're Sick

Updated on November 24, 2017
Dylan Buckley profile image

Dylan is a freelance writer specializing in the self-development industry. HubPages is where he posts content he doesn't otherwise write.

Sickness is one of the biggest adversaries of productivity. I am currently dealing with a bit of a cold myself and I'm struggling just to push through this article. While I would love to spend the whole day in bed or even just a couple of hours, I have too many important tasks on my to-do list and I can't ignore my responsibilities. Instead, I'm going to provide myself as well as you with some tips that will help us both to be as productive as possible, even while we're sick. Here are some ways that you can push through your sickness and get your work done:

1. Stock up on Medicine

Cold and flu medicine is going to be your best friend during this difficult time. Make sure that you have at least a couple of days worth of your favorite type of medication on hand. Unless you have an exceptional immune system, which means you wouldn't be in this position in the first place, it's going to take you a few days to recover. Also, make sure that you purchase medication that is non-drowsy. Nothing is worse than feeling groggy and tired when you are trying to finish a project.

2. Break Down Your Work

On a good day, I can maybe work on a project for a couple of hours before having to break away. On a sick day, I can only do 20 to 30-minutes of work before I feel like I need to take a mental and physical break. If you have a big project that you need to get done, break it down into small, digestible chunks. For example, let's pretend that you have to finish a chapter of your new book by tomorrow. Let's also pretend that this chapter is going to consist of 10,000 words. That definitely seems intimidating, especially when you're sick. If you break it down into smaller words goals, however, it will be much easier to tackle. Instead of trying to take on all 10,000 words at once, you can aim to do around 1,000 words every 45 minutes and take a 15-minute break to help you be more energetic for the next word goal.

3. Get Pumped

When I'm in a good mood, a cold has no chance of stopping me from getting the most out of my day. Even if I don't start the day with a good mood, I can definitely work my way into one by doing things such as taking natural energy supplements, listening to some upbeat music, and treating myself with a great snack or with some other type of reward. Being sick doesn't mean that you have to be miserable at the same time. Find the silver lining in your day and pump yourself up. You'd be amazed what a simple mood boost will do for your productivity.

4. Stay Relaxed

Stressing over your work won't do anything for your productivity levels and it certainly won't do anything to make you healthy again. In fact, stress has been proven to have a negative impact on the immune system. No matter what you are doing, try your best to remain relaxed. If that isn't possible, take frequent breaks from your stressful work to prevent yourself from further harming your health and your productivity.

5. Start the Day With a Win

I recently stumbled upon this amazing piece of wisdom and I now practice it religiously. Every day, I make it my mission to start the day by doing something simple and easily achievable. Since I am a freelance writer, this usually comes in the form of completing a simple article or responding to client articles. What this does is help me realize that I am capable of achieving everything on my to-do list and gives me the drive needed to crush the rest of the day. Try starting your day with a win. If it doesn't work for you, at least you'll have finished one of your projects early in the morning.

The most important thing that you can do for your health and productivity is to listen to your body. If you're really struggling to manage both your work and your illness, take as much time as you need to recover. Pushing yourself too hard will only result in longer recovery times and possibly a sickness that is worse than the one you are currently dealing with. That being said, I hope that you complete all of your tasks and feel better soon!

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How to Stay Productive When You're Sick

How to Stay Productive While Sick


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    • DanieleRobbers profile image

      Daniele M Robbers 4 months ago from Clearlake

      Good article! Well written and quite helpful thank you.