10 Ways to stay productive when you are sick

I have been planing a new design and stream of posts since January which I hoped to publish on the 1st of March. Clearly, that did not happen and the main reason is that I am an awfully good procrastinator, but also, I have been sick!

My husband and I both came down with a bout of summer flu and it has stuck with us for a while. We have been trying to shake it off but it is so difficult to get better while life goes on. We still had to feed our pups, go to work and honour our commitments, so things have been a little chaotic in our house.

This first post is going to get you through it if you are in the same boat, whether you are recovering from flu or need to rest and recuperate after minor surgery. Please remember, these are just tips and you should always consult your doctor for professional medical advice.

That being said, here is how I keep myself going when I am bogged down by some kind of ailment.


Get up and take a shower

I know it sounds hard and it may be awful but taking a shower and putting on clean clothing will already make you feel better. When I feel under the weather, I always try to maintain my routine because lounging around is great but doing it in dirty clothes when I am less than presentable actually makes me feel worse. All you need is a quick shower and a change of clothes to avoid crashing on the couch smelling and looking like a zombie. You can even comb your hair and tie it back if you have the energy to do it

Eat a decent meal

This sounds like a no-brainer but I can’t count how many times I have stopped eating when I got sick. You may not feel like preparing a meal or your appetite may be non-existent but now is not the time to starve your body. You will need the energy to power your body to fight. Recovery is very hard work for your immune system so fuel it by eating properly

Pace yourself

Don’t try to work at your normal pace. You will be slower and things will feel like they are dragging on forever, but it is important to remember that you need rest and by trying to maintain your normal pace you will only end up exhausted and frustrated. Do some work, rest a little, snack on something and then get back to work

Do things you never get around to

All those awful admin tasks that are completely brain-dead are the perfect things to do when you are not at your best. I can never sit still so these mundane tasks get thrown by the wayside, but when I am not at my best, these tasks are often on my to-do list simply because they are not super exciting and they won’t take a lot out of me. The perfect example would be unsubscribing from newsletters you really didn’t want in the first place (Google Unroll.me to see all your subscriptions and unsubscribe in a flash!)

Sleep! a lot!

I can’t stress this enough! Sleeping is essential to your body and the more you sleep, the quicker you will feel better. If you are not used to taking a nap during the day you might find it hard to fall asleep. Crash on the couch in front of the TV and switch on a show that is only mildly interesting, this always helps me to drift off

Keep hydrated and eat healthy snacks

When you are taking medicine, your body needs the extra water to metabolise the chemicals. Your liver will thank you for drinking lots of water. Same goes for snacking. Don’t immediately reach for all the junk you can find. This will give your body another problem to deal with when fighting to recover

Check and re-check any important work you have been doing

Even better, get someone to check your work. Feeling sick often affects our ability to concentrate and mistakes can easily set in. If you are working on something really important, double check your work and ask someone else to take a look. This way, you are ensuring that you don’t end up doing work you will later have to redo

Plan ahead

Planning is a great way to be productive in your down-time. It forces you to sit down and think about what needs to happen. It also helps you to be more realistic in setting goals for yourself because it is hard to overestimate yourself when you feel sick

Move around a bit

Please don’t hit the gym when you are feeling sick! All you need to do is to get up from your spot now and again to get some fresh air and to move your muscles a bit. Being stationary for too long will lead to cramps and pains

Do something to lift your mood

Watch a good movie, phone a friend or get crafty. It doesn’t really matter what you do as long as the activity is not too strenuous and you are having a good time. When you enjoy yourself you will feel more positive and that will motivate you


Do you have any great ideas for being productive when you are not at your best? Be sure to share them with me!