When Illness Strikes, the Entrepreneur is Ready to Fight


How do you get back to work when sickness strikes down upon you – or, in this case, springtime allergies? As a solopreneur, I’m feeling the weight of the workload as is, but when you throw in the sickness factor, things get a little out of hand. Here are my suggestions for those trying to conquer workloads while battling sickness.

Get organized.

When working alone, your ‘To Do’ list becomes your lifeboat. When you get sick, the weight of tasks may start to pile on and it may feel like you are sinking quickly. The only way to lessen that weight is to work through each task efficiently and in order. When an ailment slows you down, it’s not easy to get going on the tasks. Priorization is key. Work with the deadlines you already have from your clients and then move on to less time sensitive things later on.

Stephen Covey’s time management matrix is a great resource to use to plan ahead for crisis situations like catching the flu or family emergencies. By sorting your tasks into 4 categories, you can really lock down on what is important in the moment and what can wait.

Stephen Covey's Time Management Matrix
Stephen Covey’s Time Management Matrix

Get some shuteye.

If you’re sick, you’ll need rest. Make sure you concentrate on the highest priority items and get them done before going to sleep. When you are ill, you probably will sleep longer than you expect. Some things will absolutely need to get done – tend to those first and then, when you feel better, or if you have a chance to work for a short period the next day, move down the list.

Report to a friend or loved one.

Just because you feel better doesn’t mean you are. Check in regularly with a friend or family member to assess your overall health and energy level. You may seem healthier or less well than you suspect. They can keep you on track.

Plan with a buffer in mind.

By working a little extra all the time, you create a cushion for when things get tough – or you get the flu. When scheduling content for a client, I usually schedule week-by-week. Once I’ve established a routine, I tend to move ahead one or two days to be able to create a security zone. It leaves me feeling less stressed and allows me to get extra work done in the small amount of time I’ve saved. Either way, it works in my favour.

Take care of yourself. 

Even solopreneurs will get sick. Yes, we are human, but we often don’t have people who can fill in for us. It’s almost impossible to take a full day off, but you need to take care of yourself so you can put your best foot forward. If you typically work in an office space, make arrangements to work from home. Telecommute for any meetings that cannot be rescheduled.

How do you combat sickness and allergies when they strike?

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