Staying Productive When You’re Sick

I’ve been inspired by a long-term relationship into which I have fallen head-first – with an unmerciful winter cold.  Since the start of the month, there has hardly been a night where I haven’t felt like I’m not suffocating from congestion or that I could not actually cough up my toes.  I’ve tried medication, soup, tea, vaporizers and “rest” (but who can rest like this?).  I’m just plain weary.  You get the point – I know you’ve been there yourself.

All this is not enough to cancel everything and stay in bed, yet it is enough to have me staring like a deer into headlights at my computer screen, as it taunts me for another creative endeavor.  Not a chance.

Most people have a time of day during which their energy and creativity run slightly lower.  That’s the best time for routine work and “tidying up” projects.  Going on my fourth week of this seemingly interminable state, what can I do to make the most of my low energy time?

1. Take care of simple routine work that may have been placed on the back burner back when I was shooting creativity fireworks.  Renewed professional associations and subscriptions.  Bought a new printer online.

2. Delegate anything I can to keep the ball rolling. This can mean hiring a virtual assistant to keep my routine admin up to date, or to take care of the holiday mailing which, unfortunately, seems moot by now (mea culpa).

3.  Simply forget about unessential tasks that won’t be delegated. I can’t hire a concierge service to do all the routine personal tasks that normally leave me only slightly dizzy.  The house won’t look spic and spam, we’ll eat rotisserie chicken and bagged salad for as long as it takes, the kids will watch more movies than usual (they won’t mind) and “keep in touch” meetings are whittled down to a bare minimum.

4. Use an out of office message for part of the day, even every day.  Consolidate return correspondence into a time when I’m not seeing double.

With this combination of delegation and self-preservation, my productivity should maintain a forward-moving momentum without sacrificing sanity or well-being.  Do you have a productivity secret?  Please share it with us in the comment space below!

Wishing you healthy, productive and meaningful holidays!

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