It’s been a few weeks since my last blogpost thanks to a hectic work schedule then falling terribly sick—ugh! 🙁 And not just any sick but lying in bed sick, at the mercy of slow-acting medications, and worrying about everything NOT getting done in my planner. I know, I know. I should be focused on taking care of myself but it’s hard not to worry with the kids still in school, bills coming in the mail, projects still underway at work, and life continuing on around me. So what can you do to stay productive when you’re sick?
As I miserably and impatiently waited to get better, relying on the care from my wonderful family, I had all these thoughts running thru my head:
- What personal and work appointments was I going to miss?
- Was there anything important scheduled for the kids?
- Were there any important tasks coming up for my family, home, or at work?
- What about my blog and YouTube channel?
To make matters worse, it was a pay week for me so that meant I would have to dive into the financial section of my planner, sort thru the past week’s mail, then get on the computer to schedule bill payments and update the house budget, a process that takes 2-3 hours every two weeks. Add to that, helping one kid with their college planning, coordinating school activities for another kid, and taking care of everyone (2 kids, 4 pets, and a home) when the spouse went to work. What’s a sick, working, blogger mom to do? Following are my top 3 tips for helping you stay productive when you’re sick.
Step 1: Prioritize
For someone who keeps their planner at their side and looks at it several times throughout the day, I only looked at my planner once maybe twice each week. Why? To quickly scan for anything of high importance that had to happen or be completed regardless of my circumstances. Once I identified what was extremely important, I did a quick mental calculation of my options: can it be canceled, rescheduled, or delegated and what information would I—or someone else—need to perform the action? Luckily, I was able to cancel, reschedule, and delegate many of the things I had planned except for the bi-weekly bill payment/budgeting task—it’s a multi-step process with many working parts—too much to try to explain to someone when you’re sick. Since this was one task I would have to complete myself, I tried to estimate how long I could realistically delay it (hopefully for a day when I was feeling a little better and could get out of bed) without any negative impact on our finances. Being able to prioritize effectively, is critical not only for everyday planning but those times when you’re ‘out of commission’ and still have to get the important minimum done.
Step 2: Delegate
Yes, you heard me right, delegate! It’s easy to get trapped in the ‘super mom/dad’ trap and think that only you can do everything right—you have to let it go! When you’re in no condition to function as you normally would because you’re sick, it’s time to ask for and accept help from those around you and trust them to get things done. Give them the information they need and point them to any necessary resources then breath and release! At work, I have a designated backup who easily takes over my project in the event I call out sick. At home, everyone pitches in to help—husband and kids—and they are amazing (proud mama!). It helps to plan out your designated ‘backups’ in advance but if you haven’t, don’t be afraid to ask family, friends, and trusted colleagues for help and delegate, delegate, delegate!
Step 3: Take Care of Yourself
Bottom line: if you don’t take care of yourself, you will not get better so this should be your FIRST priority! The first 2 steps are designed to pave the way to self-care by helping you quickly identify what’s important and rally the ‘troops’ so they can carry out the ‘mission’ on your behalf. The faster you complete steps 1 and 2, the quicker you can focus on your health—e.g. getting the rest and care needed—to come back stronger than ever. Even now, I’m still not 100% well but I’m almost there thanks to my family and colleagues who have given me the support needed so I can take care of myself and focus on getting better faster.
What about you? How do you stay productive when sick? I’m all for always having a ‘Plan B’ so if you have any great tips or tricks that you put into place when you’re sick, please share them in the comments below and don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe!
Until next time,
♥ LilD ♥