Monday night I felt a slight tickle in my throat and assumed that I might be coming down with a sore throat. I gargled with some warm salt water and went to bed. I woke up two hours later with a high fever and every muscle in my body in pain. A visit to the doctor the next day confirmed what I already knew–I had the flu. Most people assume that when you work from home as an entrepreneur and you are sick, it’s just business as usual. If I had a cold or a mild sore throat, I may have chose to carry on with my regular scheduled work week but the flu doesn’t really allow for that. Not to mention, it is just as important to get rest and proper care when you are a small business owner as it is when you are an employee that heads to a work place every day. Here are the three major things I learned last week while sick with the flu that will continue to help me run my business more efficiently while also taken proper care of myself.
1. It pays to plan ahead.
When I found myself too sick to open up my computer last week, I was extremely thankful for the fact that I always work ahead. While I wasn’t able to keep up with emails last week, I could rest soundly knowing that blog posts and social media for Equal and Forever were already taken care of. Not only does working ahead keep me organized, on task, and allow me ample time to review my work before it goes public, it also is insurance in case anything goes wrong. If I find myself facing a sickness or an emergency, there’s no need to stress and out and worry about work. Blog posts for Equal and Forever are always completed two weeks ahead of time, insuring that I have plenty of time to focus on getting healthy again.
2. You can’t do it all.
The first thing I did when I noticed that my throat was starting to hurt was call my partner for Heart and Hustle. I knew there was a chance that my voice may not be up to recording a podcast episode the next day and I was unfortunately right. I kept hoping to be able to record later in the week but as my health decreased, it became obvious that recording was not going to be an option. Eventually I had to accept defeat and turn my attention to getting well again. When you are sick, sometimes you just can’t do everything that you wish you could.
3. Health is number one.
The last few weeks have been incredibly busy for me and I’m ashamed to say I have been running myself ragged. I’ve been so busy with work that I have skipped workouts and on a few occasions, skipped some of my vitamins. While I haven’t ate horribly, there have been meals where I could have planned a better, healthier option. Not putting my health first means not having my immune system be as strong as it can be and that leads to sickness. It doesn’t take a large amount of time to put some effort into planning my meals and snacks, making time to be active, and taking all of my vitamins. When I do all of these things, I actually feel better. I find that it is easier to focus on work and get more done. In the moment it can be easy to forget that the best answer for business isn’t always more work. I’m going to strive to not forget that my health should always be my top priority.