How to stay productive when you're sick, Margo Crawford, Certified Organizer Coach

Staying Productive When You’re Sick

Oh no! It’s the flu! I need to work, what do I do?

Oh no! A sneeze. Then another. A slight tickle in your throat. Your coming down with a cold or the flu. It’s the coughing, aching, stuffy head, runny nose, fever time of year. It’s been going around and you caught it. It’ll be days before you recuperate. …and what about work!

Here are some do’s and don’ts for making through cold and flu season and staying on top of work as best you can:

Stop showing up-Don’t spread your illness to others in the office or at meetings. Stay home! You needn’t ignore your symptoms and think they’ll go away. Thinking you’re the superhero who will get through this and show up means that you put at risk those around you who might get sick too. Also, be sure you recover completely before heading back in.

Prioritize-When the sniffling starts, the minute you start feeling ill, begin to prioritize you work. Decide what you can handle over the next few days and what is imperative that you work on.

Delegate work-After prioritizing work, you may want to delegate some of your highest priority tasks to someone in the office. If there isn’t someone to delegate to, begin to reach out to those who might be affected by your needing to put work on hold.

Work in short bursts and take long breaks– Pushing through your day when you are sick will show up in your work. You’ll be more likely to make mistakes. You won’t be able to concentrate or think clearly especially if you are taking certain over the counter medications. Work in 10-15 minute time frames and take long breaks where you can rest. Pushing yourself through work will only delay your recovery.

Work on things tasks that don’t matter-The tasks that need to get done but don’t affect the bottom line. Tasks like purging emails or filing documents on your computer desktop.

Keep important items in arms reach-Have tissues, water, medications near you. Have your laptop and phone plugged in and ready to go. Pro-tip: Binge watch a great show and relax. Even better-just take a nap. This is your time to heal.

As cold and flu season approaches many of us will be down for the count. Use these tips to stay on top of work and work on getting better. Get well soon, my friends.


If your not feeling sick you might feel busy. Join me for a workshop on Time Management. October 18, 2019 from 10:30 to 12 noon. RSVP here.


Struggling with productivity and your sick of work? Margo Crawford is a Productivity Coach and Professional Organizer with Wave Productivity. Call 602-677-8275 or email [email protected] for a consultation. Margo works with entrepreneurs, small business owners and business professionals to help them get more focused, organized and productive in their workplace. She coaches by phone nationally and in person in Phoenix, Providence and Boston.