So, I got the flu. And, besides the obvious bummerosity of feeling like (for lack of a better word) crap, I have to deal with the issues that surround being a sick and incapacitated freelancer and business owner while the rest of the world swirls on.
As a freelancer or owner of a business where you do most or all of the work, it’s quite smart to have a plan in place to protect yourself in the case of illness, injury, computer malfunction or any other catastrophe you care to imagine.
- We can’t call in sick and rely on our co-workers to pick up the slack.
- Our work is usually time sensitive and firing rapidly without a lot of downtime.
- We don’t get paid sick time, so if we don’t work we don’t eat (ish).
- When we literally can’t work, or at least not at our usual speed, the aftermath when we finally can will be piled higher than Everest.
- Personally, I loathe sitting around doing nothing. You?
- When it’s an emergency, talk to your colleagues. Whether they help move things along, contribute significantly or take over the project, your client is the most important consideration. In other words, get the job done if you can.
- Along the same lines, you might have a colleague that you trust so much that you create an agreement to help each other out in the event of such a situation. Make sure this agreement is fair and makes sense to both of you. (Don’t sign on for this with a chronically ill person if you never get sick, for example).
- Remember that you’re only human and take care of yourself. Most clients will understand that we all get sick (or that life happens) and will provide some leeway. My father seems to believe that you use as much energy thinking as running around, so you have to do the deep sleep to recover. (I’m currently not listening to him.)
- It never hurts to have some non-time sensitive blog posts waiting in the wings, so that your blog doesn’t show a huge, gaping hole while you’re using your using your minimal coherency to work on client projects.
- If that little voice calls to you and tells you to get work done ahead of time, listen to it. I swear it knows that illness or roadblocks are near.
- Then, there are always the preventive measures: get enough sleep, eat right, take your vitamins, laugh and enjoy life – all as a means to build your immune system.
- And, of course, this too shall pass. Sick, better. Busy, looking for work. Overwhelmed, under-stimulated. This is all part of the ride.
Add your tools and ideas in the comments below, if you would. I have this feeling that I’ve forgotten something really obvious, but I have a good excuse – it’s called the flu.
Image by melyviz