Entrepreneurs have to be the hardest working folks on the planet.
We usually carry much or all of the work load for our businesses, and that makes it difficult to take days off. We are human, however, and there will be days when for one reason or another we're just not feeling up to par.
While it may be tempting to "gut it out" and just work through the pain, I think a healthier and more productive strategy is to take the day off, rest and pamper ourselves so that we can recuperate our strength and bounce back fast.
Taking a spontaneous day off is sooo much easier if, during healthier times, you've put a safety net system in place for those pesky unforeseen sick, mental health, or family emergency days.
Prepping for the Inevitable Sick Day
1) Get support systems in place NOW. If you're able, the best way to prepare for your business to continue functioning when you're unable to work is to partner with a virtual assistant you trust and can depend on *before* you get sick.
More than once clients have told me that they were so relieved that we were working together because their business continued to run smoothly with me running the show even when they were so sick they couldn't sit in front the computer.
This kind of freedom is HUGE for an entrepreneur, because if your business stops its daily operations, then money is lost and customer relations can suffer. Having a virtual assistant in place to keep things running even when you're away is an invaluable investment in the health and stability of your business.
2) Streamline your workload for the day. If you don't have a right hand support person who can keep the ball rolling when you're sick, you'll want to do an initial triage of your workday tasks.
- What absolutely needs to be handled within the next couple hours?
- What could possibly wait until the evening?
- What can wait 24 hours?
- What can wait until next week?
This is where it comes in handy to have pre-established expectations for work turn-around.
Is one of your expectations for your biz to reply to emails within 24-48 hours? If so, you have a little breathing room--this may be a time when you push it to the outer time limit of 48 hours.
Don't kill yourself to get work done early if it really is acceptable to have a longer turn-around period. If you have tasks you can put off til later in the day, you might take the daytime to rest, and hopefully you'll feel a bit better by nighttime.
The idea is to limit your workday tasks as much as possible so that you can get the bare minimum done and then take the day off so you can get better quicker.
Although you may still be technically doing some work, your load is minimized so that you see a clear end in sight, which will help you keep your focus. If you know you'll be able to go back to bed in a couple hours, it'll be easier to do that short burst of necessary work. It really helps to be able to see a light at the end of your workday tunnel :-) />.
Taking Care Of Your Business Means Taking Care Of Yourself
Whatever you do, do not take the attitude of "I'm just gonna gut it out."
If you're sick, in pain, or for any other reason overly distracted from work, you'll end up spending all day sitting at your desk trying to work and not getting much done. Then you'll feel stressed because you're behind, and cranky because you don't feel well. It's a vicious cycle that'll end up costing you time, money and personal well-being.
So just put on your PJs and your fuzzy slippers, wrap yourself in a blanket and lay on the couch with a mug of hot tea as you watch some sappy soap operas.
I promise, if you're sick or going through a personal trauma your time will be much better spent taking care of yourself, healing, and doing whatever you need to do in order to come back strong and fast.
Question for you: What is your workday strategy for when you're sick or otherwise indisposed? Please share your ideas!