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  • Writer's pictureKayla Droog Consulting

What to do when you’re sick as a business owner

A few weeks ago I got the flu.


I’m talking fever, chills, sinus infection, didn’t get out of bed for a week.


Being sick sucks for anyone. But it’s especially challenging as a business owner. 


On top of worrying about getting better and taking care of yourself, you have the added stress of trying to keep your business running while you are out of the office. (Check out my previous blog post about keeping your business going while you take time off.)


Check out these tips to manage your business when you’re sick so you can get back to work more quickly:



Listen to the audio:



How to manage work when you’re sick


So what do you do about your work when you're sick? 


First of all, you should not be forcing yourself to put in a regular day's work when you are really sick, because you are not going to be effective and it's going to keep you sick longer. 


You are probably not doing work that is so urgent that you can't take care of your own needs. When you're really sick, I encourage you to only do tasks in your business that are high priority and high urgency. Things that really cannot wait or be postponed. 


For example, during my recent illness I was really lucky that none of my clients were in a launch period for their businesses, so there weren't a lot of tasks that couldn't be postponed for a few days or a week. I was able to focus on things that really needed to get done at that time and put things off that were less urgent so that I was able to take care of myself and get better. 


I also was lucky that I was not in a major launch period for my own business and I prioritized work that needed to get done for my clients and put work on my business a little bit on the back burner. 


However, if any of my clients had been launching or had a time sensitive project, that would have been where I put my focus, and I would have postponed other less urgent tasks. 


If I had been planning a launch in my own business, I would have delegated as much as possible or considered postponing if I was required to do calls or presentations.



Rely on your systems!


I have systems in place that allow me to postpone tasks for the back-end of my business without everything grinding to a halt. I already have a whole blog post about systems that you can create in your business that allow you to take time off and those systems really saved my butt. 


I had client communication that continued to happen without me while I was away. I had communication and discovery calls booked with new leads coming in while I was sick in bed. I didn't have to worry about those things. They were taking care of themselves because of the systems that I had put in place. 


I had social media posts scheduled out in advance so that that continued without me. This really allowed me to focus on getting better. 


I postponed all of the meetings that I was able to. I communicated with my clients about what was going on, and I was able to manage expectations and adjust timelines. And thankfully I have a group of clients that are a kind, understanding community, and that really helped as well. 


Open communication with your clients about what's going on when you go through things like this is really important. You could even consider setting some sort of out of office message that you are ill and give an estimated time back in the office or say you'll get back to people as soon as possible so that everyone knows what's going on. 


Make sure you are actually recuperating


If you are going through a regular illness as a business owner (a critical illness is completely different - we won’t go into that here), it's really important that you do not push yourself too much or too soon. 


For example, for the entire first week I had the flu, I had a fever and I was in bed the entire week. Then the following week I was back in the office, but I was still experiencing lingering symptoms and fatigue, and had a reduced capacity compared to what I am normally able to do. 


What I did not do was push myself to put in what I consider to be my “normal” amount of work, because I knew that my normal maximum capacity was not the maximum capacity I had while in recovery. 


And if I pushed myself to meet my normal maximum capacity, I was just going to keep myself sick longer, meaning I was going to keep myself at a reduced capacity for a longer period of time. So having a few more days or a second week where I was putting in less time than usual allowed me to get back to my normal faster. 


Taking this extra time was actually better for my clients, because I wasn’t prolonging the time when I was out of commission. 



Lean on your team


If you are under the weather, that is also a time where if you have a team that you can lean on and trust, do it. Give extra temporary work to people, delegate, lean on them for support. That is what they are there for. 


If you have a virtual assistant or an online business manager, let them know that you’re sick and you might need a few extra hours or a bit more support that week than usual. If you would like them to take on a few extra duties for a few days or a week or two while you are recuperating, that is a completely reasonable thing to ask for.


Make sure that you are taking advantage of the people who are able to assist you. 


If you don't have team members in your business who are able to assist you with business tasks, maybe you have other people in your life who are able to support you with household tasks or other non-business activities to take the pressure off that way so that you're still able to do those crucial tasks in your business that need to happen even while you're sick. 


There are multiple ways to get support so that you are able to do the minimum that needs to happen in order for your life and business to function, but you're still able to rest, take care of yourself, and recuperate so that you can get back to full capacity more quickly. 


I hope that this is not a post that you need to come back to often, because I hope that we all stay in good health! But if these are tips that you need, I hope that they help you get through your illness and keep your business going, and that you are able to rest without being too stressed and overwhelmed so that you can go back to the office more quickly. If you have questions or you're looking for support, let me know down in the comments or feel free to reach out.


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Kayla Droog Consulting supports heart-centered small business owners with the back-end systems setup and updates they don't have time to do, so they can focus on serving their clients and growing their businesses!

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