5 Ways for the freelancing mama to get it all done when she’s sick

Add heading (3)

Achoo! {bless you!}

You’ve spent the last 7 hours tossing and turning. Between sneezing and coughing, your throat hurts and your head aches. You simply wish you could sleep. Everything hurts and the Nyquil bottle is still sitting on your nightstand. Next to it is a now empty box of tissues. The cat has taken every used tissue and hid them behind a box of old letters under your bed. Your kids have scrounged their own breakfast and are watching Netflix non-stop. You burrow deeper, hiding your eyes from the sun peeking through your windows. Maybe you could just stay here a little while longer. Wait, what is today? In the fogginess, you know there is something but you can’t seem to remember why you stayed up until 2 a.m. Oh, yeah! You throw off the covers and jump out of bed looking like death, warmed over. No time to stop and consider anything other than… today is Deadline Day! What do you do?

Sick days happen to the best of us. The corporate world has known this for decades and offers “sick days” as part of their benefits package. Just about every job in the work sector allows their employees the occasional “call in because you are sick day.” When you are self-employed, who are you going to call? Who’s going to work for you when you are sick? Far too often, the answer to both of those questions is “no one.”

Sometimes you can afford to take a day off to recover and other days it’s out of the question. How do you power through on those days when there is work to be done, deadlines looming, and no rest for the weary? Here’s one prescription for productivity… DOCTOR yourself.

Do the first thing. Get up. Get a shower and get dressed. Stick with your typical daily routine, whatever it is–even if it includes hair and makeup. Your normal routine is part of your productivity. On the days when you have deadlines and projects due, you can’t afford to sacrifice more of your productivity than that which has already been lost to your illness. Just the act of knowing that you are clean and put together will give you a boost to tackle your deadline.

Only tackle the most important jobs. As women, wives, moms, freelancers, we tend to have a million and one things going at a time. We can bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan, and multi-task with the best of them. However, when our bodies are fighting viruses, it not only slows us down but affects our mental ability as well. Make it easier on both your mind and your body by only tackling the one or two jobs that must be done. Minimize your agenda. Go through your to-do list and put off any projects that can wait, including household chores or errands.

Create margin for your mind. You’ve already taken one step here by moving anything on your to-do list that can wait, including all non-emergency household chores. Next, break the remaining one or two jobs into bite-size pieces that are easier to tackle and less overwhelming. If your kids are home, allow them extra screen time. Set snacks out for them and let them snack right through lunch. Within reason, do what you need to do to allow your mind to rest and be its best for your projects.

Take care of yourself. Now, more than ever is the time to take care of your body. This is not the time to drown yourself in coffee or wine to keep going which both cause dehydration {prevention.com}. Instead, be sure to drink plenty of water and possibly tea with honey. Avoid sugar. Did you know that sugar increases inflammation in your body {prevention.com}?

Offer grace to yourself. When you are used to being the one who gets it all done, it’s hard to be sidelined. You’ll probably be the one most bothered by all the little things that got moved from your to-do list. You may have to walk away from Mt. Washmore in the laundry room or the ongoing project that is awaiting another edit. It’s okay. Tomorrow is just a day away. For now, give yourself grace and allow yourself some healing time. The rest of it will get done, eventually.

Recruit help. This is a great time to waive the white flag and ask for help. You may want to ask multiple people. Is there a grandma around who would be willing to come play with your kids for the day? Do you have a friend you could ask to come take your kids for a playdate? Can you ask for a deadline extension? Or call out a local pizza joint and ask for a delivery? The sky’s the limit on what can be done for you when you simply ask.

Being sick isn’t fun and it certainly isn’t easy for the freelancin’ mama who is used to getting it all done. Part of what makes us great freelancers is our independent spirit. We love the freedom to do things for ourselves and by ourselves. Unfortunately, there may be times when it is all we can do to get ourselves out of bed. On those days, don’t worry. Pour yourself another cup of tea and rest. Thankfully, you have just what the DOCTOR ordered for a speedy recovery.

Categories Uncategorized

I'd love to know what you think...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close