I have a sinus infection. My throat is on fire, my head is throbbing, but I have to work. And I have to take care of my twin toddlers.
Yes, I have a boy and a girl who just turned three. And did I forget to tell you I’m also a freelance writer?
Not only do I have a house to run – meals to cook, laundry to fold, crumbs to wipe away – but I also have a full list of around 20+ clients that hired me to write content for them. I also manage several blogs and I also coach and teach new freelance writers.
>>If you’re interested in wanting to work from home, check out my step-by-step tutorial on how to start a mom blog<<
It’s no wonder I got sick eh? Well, actually, I started working from home over a year ago and this is only my second time getting sick ( I don’t go out much and my twins stay home most of the time).
But, now that the twins are older and I have more clients, this sinus infection is making my head swirl. I’m finding that anything I do seems like I’m doing it in slow-mo or I’m dragging my feet through molasses.
If you recently took the leap into freelancing and are suddenly caught off guard because you’re ill, here are five time saving tips that I’m currently doing or using while I recover from my head cold.
1. Work on the Couch
You do know that if you work from home, you should have an office desk?
My office desk is in my bedroom, practically in my closet. But it’s quiet here and since my husband also works from home, I’m not bothered much when I work in my room.
But, I’m sick. Sitting vertical makes my face hurt.
So, what’s better than sitting on your comfy couch with your feet up on your ottoman or coffee table in full-relaxed mode? Nothing really. It’s awesome and a great perk to working from home.
Why don’t I work on the couch more often?
- I have twins. They jump, they’re loud, and toys seem to make it’s way in the crevices of the cushions
- It’s loud in the living room. See above point
- If I slack on my posture I develop repetitive strain injury (RSI). It sucks because then it hurts when I type and then I can’t type. This means I lose money.
But, when you’re sick, it’s okay to work on the couch. This is what I’m doing. When my twins take their daytime nap, I plop myself on my big ol’ couch and can write a post for a client or research for another client.
I’m able to still work, meet my deadlines and give my body a rest.
2. Turn Off Distractions
Okay. This is hard. Your phone is like your safe place. It doesn’t judge, it doesn’t talk back. It’s your ultimate friend.
But, if you work from home and you’re sick, it’s best to turn off your phone and any other distractions like email and social media.
Don’t worry; people will still remember you even if you take a two day tech fast. I swear they will!
You know what magically happens when you put your phone down and focus? You get more work done.
I’m doing this even when I’m not sick and I can pump out a 2,000 word post in under two hours.
When you’re sick, though, and you have a looming deadline, clear all distractions, technology or not, and with what little brain power you have, whip out those freelancing projects.
3. Food in a Box or Jar is Okay!
Having twins is tough.
Heck, being a mother is a challenge. I never thought, before having children how draining it is on your system. Since having twins, my stress level is through the roof; I’m more irritable and I’m finding the day-to-day chores hard to complete.
Maybe that’s just me or maybe it’s because I have twins. In any case, I do my best to feed them healthy food, even if they never eat it. It’s there on their plate and that’s all that counts right?
If you’re a mom and you work from home and are sick, don’t feel guilty if you take out some pre-packaged chicken fingers and fries to cook and serve it with some grape tomatoes and milk.
It’s a quick meal and it’s easy to slap together.
When I’m too busy or life throws me a hard ball, I tend to go to these meal savers:
- Canned soup and crackers. My children are loving the Campbell’s Italian Wedding Soup. There’s meat and spinach with tiny pasta balls. It’s semi-healthy. Throw in some fresh veggies on a plate like snap peas and you’re good to go.
- Yogurt and fruit. My children eat plan yogurt with fruit and a little bit of honey. For some reason, they will eat this, even if I don’t care for plain yogurt.
- Hotdogs. Who doesn’t like hotdogs for dinner? We buy the all-natural kind and serve it with a bun and some broccoli (frozen veggies rock).
Meal planning isn’t rocket science but I always get the biggest case of food block (writers have writers block; moms have food block?) every week. It’s been like this since I was in college.
And with twins who wouldn’t dare eat tortellini or sushi, it’s hard to come up with a variety of food options. But, all this goes out the window when I’m sick. Frozen pizza for dinner? Sure, let me go take a hot shower and do a nasal rinse to relieve this sinus pressure first.
Don’t feel guilty. It’s food. It’s quick and it’s there. Open the box or jar and serve it.
4. It’s Okay to Get Help
I know. You want everyone to think you’re super mom.
What? You have twins? How do you do it? Your children are so polite. They never yell!
Yea well, have you seen them at home? My son likes to take toys from his sister and my daughter plays mind games with her brother.
And I’m running around with sweat pants and stains on my shirt trying to put away laundry.
This is a typical day for me. Now that I’m sick, though, I need the help just to do the normal things around the house.
I have a husband that stays home and works, but he’s sick too, so I can’t rely on him. Luckily I have in-laws that like to come over daily and play with the children. This gives me some respite to prepare dinner or to just lay down for a few minutes.
If you have a neighbor, friend or family member close by, go ahead and call them in the afternoon and ask if they can help you out.
5. Take a Half Day
Another great perk when you work from home? You set you own schedule. You start work when you want to and end when you want to.
Typically this is true. But in reality, most freelancers and entrepreneurs (who are doing this to make a living), work every day, 5-8 hours a day. It may not all be projects or client work, but these people answer emails on the weekend or in the evening and they’re available any time.
Want to know another thing? These people don’t mind, because they love what they are doing. I love being a freelance writer and entrepreneur. I actually love working on my own projects more than freelancing (but don’t tell my clients this!).
So, when you work every day, what happens when you do get sick? Well, if you get so sick you can’t even work, email your clients letting them know you need to make an adjustment to the proposed deadline or that you need to push a project back a week or two.
If you just have a head cold like me, work only a half day. For me, that’s around three hours. It’s enough to write a post or two, check my email and start a new blog (this one!).
Take it Easy
I don’t know about you, but I have a hard time taking it easy. I think most people who start a side hustle or quit their 9-5 job to pursue their passions, feel the same way. We love what we do.
When sickness comes, though, it’s best to take it easy, rest up and find time saving ways to get your work done and speed up your sickness too.
Over to you – what’s your protocol for when you or someone in your family is sick?