So far this year, I’ve had one normal work day. One. Just a day after returning to work from my holiday break, I needed a sick day. That turned into a “sick week.” And it’s now going on week two.
Surprisingly though, those sick days have still been productive days. I launched several new features here on this site. I published several blog posts on various sites I own. I installed and customized a new theme on my business site. And I completed plenty of other smaller projects in a fairly long to-do list.
The key? I stayed away from business emails, and I was officially off in terms of working with clients.
Why was this key? It meant my schedule in no way revolved around anyone else. If I wanted to work for ten minutes, I could. If I wanted to work on something for hours and I felt up to it, I did. And if I wanted to say “to Hell with it” and climb back in bed for the day, I could do that too. It also meant I wasn’t putting out client work when I was far from 100%. That wouldn’t have been good for anyone involved.
By all means, if you feel too sick to do anything, take off completely. Your health should be your top priority. But if you have even a little bit of energy, there are many things you can do to make sure you stay productive, or at least don’t fall too far behind, when you take sick time as a writer.
Here are some specific ideas for work you can do, even when you’re not feeling well.
Catch up on some reading.
Read blogs. Read books. Read magazines you plan to query. As a writer, you can never read too much. And this is something you can do even if you’re confined to bed while you recover.