Whether at school or at work, a day spent sick in bed, could mean a day of lost productivity.  I therefore find that it behooves me to do all that I can to still make a sick day somewhat productive day.

Here are a few of thing things I do so that days when I feel less than great don’t become completely lost causes.

Bedside Table

Just because I’m sick, doesn’t mean I can’t think, organize, and prepare for when I recover.  However, I’m typically not going to want to be making trips back and forth to my home office every time I think of something.  Therefore, I try to keep a few items handy on my bedside table to help me stay productive even when I’m feeling sub-par.

A few of the items I like to have close by include:

– Notepad and pen

– Clipboard and paper

– Tape recorder

– Highlighters

– Laptop/Cell phone

These items allow me to get some work done or at least make a few notes occasionally without energy and time consuming trips back and forth from the bed.

Brainstorming Session

I don’t always feel like doing work when I’m sick, but this doesn’t mean I have to be completely worthless.  A sick day can be a great time for doing some brainstorming for new ideas or adjustments to be made to the way I work or research, surfing the Internet and mindlessly coming up with new ideas, checking out some things I might not have time for otherwise, or just pondering a few ways of making my time more efficient in the days and weeks ahead.

Plan for Recovery

I try to spend at least a little of my sick day making a list of things I’ll need to do when I’m better, and then prioritizing this list.  Items will be stacking up while I’m down, so I’ll likely have a lot to do when I recover.

This plan doesn’t have to be anything fantastic, often just a list of things not to forget in my cold medicine-induced stupor.  I can’t stand it when I wake up from a four-hour sick day sleep and know there was something in my head that I wanted to remember when I fell asleep, but it’s now lost in the foggy mess my brain has become.

Bringing the Computer to Bed

I don’t like to work in bed much anymore, but when I’m sick, bringing my laptop to bed with me may be the only option.  While I might not be able to do much more than put in a few minutes here or there, answer emails, or do a little research, it’s better than nothing at all, and keeps me from feeling like the entire day has been a waste.

Picking My Work Carefully

If I have the ability and energy to get a little work done on a sick day, I have to pick my tasks carefully.  Taking on simple items that involve very little thinking, since I don’t want to exhaust myself (which could only prolong my down time), are often the tasks I try to tackle.

Sometimes however, if I have items of critical importance that need to be handled immediately, I will try to take them on when I have the most energy, am most aware, and I will do so ahead of other tasks of lesser importance.  Even just completing a few tasks on a sick day makes me feel better about the day not being a complete loss and can help prepare me for when I get back to work again in full force.

Disclaimer: The author is not a licensed educational professional or academic advisor.  This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, financial or educational advice.  Any action taken by the reader due to the information provided in this article is solely at the reader’s discretion.