How to be Productive Even When You’re Sick

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I have been so sick this past week that I don’t know how to be productive. All I want to do is binge watch holiday movies and lie on the couch. But I feel guilty doing that when I KNOW that I have a lot of work I should be doing (Like writing an article for you all).

After laying on the couch watching my THIRD happily ever after ending, I decided that I really must do something–even if it was simply washing my hair. ‘Tis the season for sickness, but that doesn’t mean we have to be a lazy piece the whole time.

How to be productive when you're sick

How to be Productive Even When You’re Sick:

Be sure to take time to relax.

Whenever I feel sick, I feel like a sloth. All I want to do is sleep and lay around but I know I need to do something. However, the more I try to force myself to be productive, the more my work suffers. So I just take time to chill.

And you shouldn’t feel bad about relaxing either. One of the BEST ways to get better is to sleep more (Not getting enough sleep may even be the reason we wound up in this situation to begin with). Take some antibiotics, sip on some tea, and get cozy.

Lay out a plan for the day.

Maybe it’s because I’m a planner, but even on a sick day I like to make plans. Although most of them involve napping, there are still important things I need to get done that have to be on the list.

Take a second to run through your long to do list and prioritize things. Think about what absolutely HAS to be done today. Make a plan on how to complete these tasks.

Make sure to complete at least one productive item on your list.

When I’m planning my day I include tasks like take a shower or take the dog for a walk. On a sick day, even completing these normal tasks make me feel productive.

Look at your to-do list for the day and decide which tasks are going to make you the most productive. Be sure to accomplish these before the end of the day–even if it’s something minor like brushing your teeth.

Celebrate your accomplishment after you've finished.

After I've completed my productivity tasks, I internally applaud myself. When I feel like death, knowing that I took the time to accomplish something--No matter how minor--always makes me feel better.

Once you've finished the productive item on the list, reward yourself. This could be an internal high-five or finally allowing yourself to pass out on the couch. Whatever you want to do that will make you feel like you're winning today.

Layout a plan to be better tomorrow.

No matter how much I try, I can't be at 100% every day. But if I take the time to relax and take medicine for 1 day, then my body is better prepared to be productive the next day.

Now that you've allowed yourself to take a sick day, layout your plan for tomorrow. The work that really needed to be done today will be better quality after your day of rest. Plus your plan will give you something to look forward to.

No one wants to be sick. It slows our progress and makes our quality of work go down. But if we take medicine, get plenty of sleep, and take time to feel better, we will end up being more productive. Also, check out my self care tips when you're sick to make sure you're giving yourself some TLC.

How to be productive when you're sick


  • Linda

    I needed to read this. I caught a really nasty sinus infection and bronchitis. The medication keeps me awake and hungry. Add in lack of energy and I’m just not getting things done.

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