For the past few days, you’ve only known Kleenex, warm blankets and decongestant. Regardless of how it happened, you’ve been sick and miserable, and you’re probably not looking forward to all the work you’ve missed since you’ve been quarantined.
Here’s your guide to jumping back in like you never left to begin with and breezing through all the stress that comes with getting back on your feet.
1. Plan What You’ll Be Missing
You’re starting to feel very sleepy, and no, it’s not hypnotism; it’s that cold coming on! And once those headaches and chills start taking over, you’ll be feeling pretty forgetful about your other responsibilities. It’s good to think of preemptive measures once you start feeling sick, so when it hits you all at once you won’t feel as useless.
Leave detailed notes for yourself on your desk, your computer or in your planner. Put together an outline of all the different aspects that need to be covered. Between school, work and extracurriculars, there are usually a lot of dates being tossed around as well as details of projects and assignments that are your responsibility. You don’t want to forget about those, especially when you’ve already been gone a few days!
Before you step away from your desk, put together a quick outline with all the dates, names and contact information you’ll need in order to know exactly what you have to do when you come back. (This is always a good idea after weekends or days-off too!)
And yep, that’s right, go ask grandpa for an extra yellow legal pad and start jotting down everything you need to do. We’ll call this the “master list,” complete with everything not done needing doing. You may use a planner or prefer to use your laptop or tablet (I use those things too, I’m not a cavewoman) but believe me, a legal pad is the way to go! It’s been proven that writing things down works much better with not only memory retention, but memory extraction too.
2. Prioritize Your To-Dos
Once you’ve created your master list, determine which items are most time-sensitive (nope, not the most important). You’ll need to circle what had to be done yesterday and then determine how soon these other items on your list have to be done.
General rule of thumb: Be good about due dates and deadlines, because if you’re not, regardless of illness or excuse, it will become a bigger burden on you, and your supervisor. Plus, their stress is the last thing you need right now.
So, you’ve figured out what you need to do ASAP, but you’re really starting to feel sick. Onto one of the most important parts: Communication.
3. Communicate With Everyone
Communication is critical, especially if you feel that you may be missing a deadline because of your illness. You must always communicate with supervisors, professors and other people counting on you if you’re feeling like you might have to take a few days off. It’s better to let them know in person if you can; however, in today’s technological uprising, you may be working for someone in a completely different time zone. In those cases, email, phone conversations, and Skype calls or Google Hangouts are all appropriate and will show people that you are responsible and care about the quality of work you’re putting in.
And even if you think you might quickly get over whatever bug you’ve caught, it’s better to let people know early. You don’t want to tell them you’re not feeling well at the last minute while you’re being carried out of the office on a stretcher. (Just kidding!)
Also, let them know your game plan for when you return, or at least find someone to cover for you while you’re gone, if it’s necessary. That’ll definitely ease and prepare people for when it does come down to you having to take a few days off.
4. Take a Deep Breath
You might be feeling stressed, but relax! You’ve been sick and you’re finally feeling better, and the added stress will not bode well with your recovery.
Just remember to communicate with your peers, professors, boss and/or co-workers. If you absolutely must, take some work home with you that’s easy to do as you rest in bed, and keep your prepared notes handy for when you’re sick.
These tips will help you stay organized and keep focus. You might have your work cut out for you but you’ll survive; it’s all a part of life. It’s what happens; people get sick.