Get author branding and book marketing tips straight to your inbox

Getting Work Done When You Get Ill

Getting Work Done When You Get Ill

If you read my recent post about taking time off, you'll know that I got ordered to take time off, and rest by my Doctor. Well, it wasn't easy to switch off, but I did as I was told and rested up. Both infections cleared up and, although I still have a few checks to get through this coming week, I'm doing much better now. At least I was doing much better until yesterday morning...

I think I counted a grand total of two whole days where I actually felt like a normal human being again, and then my youngest and I both came out with colds. Yes, you guessed it, I'm ill again [drops head and shakes it in an "I know I'm a medical disaster" kind of way].

So what do I do now? More time off? January is almost over and I still need to start my new year. 

I had big plans for 2016, and was sure this was going to be my best year yet. I have to confess, I'm not quite as sure now.

I'm not giving up though. I still plan on reaching my goals for this year. I'm just reworking and tweaking them a bit.

"On particularly rough days when I'm sure I can't possibly endure, I like to remind myself that my track record for getting through bad days so far is 100%... and that's pretty good" Unknown #Quote #MotivationalMonday

In fact, despite my slow start to the year, I'm actually doing quite well. My Writers and Authors website has been featured in several "Top Sites" lists already this year including The Best Copywriting and Writer Blogs to Follow  (who also made me into a cartoon for the post. I know! So cool! It's not everyday I have someone turn me into cartoon form ;)) and Feedspot's Top Writing Blogs 2016.

Looking at my stats for this website, views have increased considerably this month compared to the past few months too. In fact they've almost doubled. My extra thinking time has given me the chance to look at the posts that have gone down best, and think about the types of content I should be sharing here in the future. Another example of how I'm applying my "work smarter, not harder" philosophy this year. If you have any suggestions for the sort of content you'd like to see more of here, please leave a comment below.

Thanks to extra time spent surfing Twitter on my ipad I've also gone quite a bit over my followers goal for January already. Those of you that follow my monthly newsletter know, it's not just a numbers game for me. I'm about creating a targeted following, and connecting. Social media should be social, and I love building new relationships online. Don't forget to sign up for the newsletter for exclusive content about my marketing strategies and behind the scenes info about tried and tested methods.

I might not be working full time at the moment, but these little achievements are doing wonders for giving me a much needed boost, and helping to make me feel like I'm being at least a little productive.

I've been using my extra "sitting round doing nothing time" to catch up on some reading too, a little luxury I don't usually have the time to indulge as much as I'd like. I'll be filming review videos for them as soon as this cold clears up and I look less scary looking. I'm also looking forward to getting back to filming more Library Reads updates for you, and the new series of Quick Tips videos.

I'm not limiting my reading to just books. I've also been doing a lot of research online and note taking for future blogs posts, and books. I find the research part relaxing, and so it doesn't really feel like work at all.

So, I might not be getting much work done on my project list, but I am still getting some stuff done. I've just needed to flip my to do list a little. I can't do everything, but I can do some things. I've learnt that going slow can still take you far in the long run. [click to tweet].

Being ill can make it hard to get work done, but if you adjust your game plan slightly you can still be productive and reach your goals.

What little jobs do you do when you're ill and can't get the bigger projects done? How do you stay productive when you're ill?

Lessons in Taking Time Off

"Sometimes it's okay if the only thing you did today was breathe." -Unknown

I've not been well. To be complete honest with you, I'm still not 100%. My immune system doesn't work very well, and with two young children, this time of year is always a struggle. I'm the sort of person that needs to go into hibernation for the winter months ;) 

Well, I was ill over Christmas, ill again over New Years and, yep you guessed it, ill again. This time I got two infections; one in my mouth that caused multiple mouth ulcers (very not fun), and another in my throat caused by the one in my mouth. Needless to say, I've been feeling a bit fed up lately.

I went to the Doctors and got given various medicines to sort things out and get rid of the infections (which are working great but give me brain fog and headaches), and got ordered to rest. I always find myself laughing when the Doctor tells me I need to rest, because I'm really not good at it. It seems like a joke. I have two young children, work, meetings, and well all the chores that come with every day life... rest is one of those things I like the sound of but know I won't get much of even if I try my best. The side effects of the meds have helped make sure I am resting though.

I am trying my best. I cut back on everything. Seriously I've done very little for the past week now. The workaholic in me is in major crisis, but there is a little part of me that has enjoyed taking the time to just lay around and watch a film or read. It's been nice to finally have some free time and not have to think about times and schedules for a change. As the quote above states "Sometimes it's OK if the only thing you did today was breathe". This is something I've always had trouble accepting as I'm normally multitasking all day long. This past week I've learnt to accept that it's OK to take time off, that it's important to make my health a priority, and that I'm actually OK with doing it. Trust me this is a big step for me.

Anyway, all this has made me do some thinking. Can't switch my brain off completely ;) 

I went back to look at my goals for 2016 and my notes about what I learnt last year

Here's what stood out:

My number one goal was to be healthier. I can't just "try to be healthier". I need to make it my number one priority. I doubt I'll ever have a strong immune system (I just wasn't built that way) but I can do things to help stop it from dropping. From now on I'll be giving myself weekends off. Yep two whole days away from my computer to just chill and enjoy family life. To some this might seem strange, but when you work for yourself, from home, and love what you do, it's not easy to switch off. 

I also want to try and set more structured work hours for during the week too. If I went out to work I'd do 9-5, and have a lunch break, maybe a coffee break... well I need to schedule in my work the same way. No more super long work days. No more working through lunch. I need to learn to take time off. Not just from a health point of view either. Stepping away also helps give better focus when you come back.

I still have loads of projects I want to do, and big plans for what I want to accomplish this year. I'm just adapting to a new way of doing them. 2016 is going to be the year of working smarter, not harder. 

How do you make sure you take enough time off from work? Got some good health tips for people like me who work from home? Share in the comments below.

Quick Tips Series 3: The Complete Collection

Quick Tips Series 3: The Complete Collection

For those of you that have been following along, you'll already have seen I shared the complete collection of videos from the first series, and the second series of Quick Tips over the past couple of weeks. Today I'm sharing a recap of the complete collection of videos from series 3.

Answer blog comments

Ask fans to share a photo of them with your book

Organise a release party for your book

Set up a Facebook Fan Page

Put together a FAQs

Which of these tips did you find most useful?