I knew when I started working from home as an almost-full-time writer that there would be difficulties. In fact, I outlined a number of them here. But the one thing I hadn’t thought much about was illness.
In fact, probably if you’d asked me, I would have said that one of the best things about working from home is that you don’t have to completely miss work when you’re sick. I mean, with a laptop you can type from anywhere – including your bed.
But thanks to the nasty cold I caught this week, I’ve come to realize this is also one of the worst things about working from home.
If I was working at a office, I’d call in sick, sleep around the clock, and hopefully be back at work after a day or two.
But, working from home, I can never escape the call of the computer. That niggling feeling, while I’m sacked out on the couch, that really, writing wouldn’t take that much more energy, so I should just get off my butt and get to work – even though I barely have the energy to make myself a cup of tea.
And when I do try and rest, I just end up wasting valuable energy stressing, and beating myself up over not working every minute of the day.
What makes it worse is that I do have a deadline hanging over me, getting closer by the day (as deadlines tend to do). That’s right, my still-a-secret-and-it’s-killing-me-not-being-able-to-share-it-with-you-guys-but-I-should-be-able-to-tell-you-soon project is due in less than a month.
But I’ve come to realize forcing myself to use up what little energy I have on work is just prolonging the recovery process. Instead of trying to find a work-health balance, I need to recognize my limitations, because right now I’m wasting more time working half-heartedly than if I just took the day off and came back full strength the next day. I need to walk away from the computer, spend a day sleeping, and get well ASAP, so I can put my all into my project. And if I have to work a bit harder over the next few weeks to make up for the time off, at least I’ll have the energy for it.
What about you? How do you deal with deadlines and sickness? Let me know in the comments.
And now, if you’ll excuse me, my couch and teapot are calling me.