On a recent flight to a conference in Scottsdale, I noticed the many sneezes and sniffles going on around me. There’s nothing like sharing air in a confined space with a crowd of sick people!

I realized that at this time of year many of my clients face the challenge of trying to figure out how to handle work when they are feeling crummy.

You know the feeling I mean . . . you aren’t sick enough to actually stay home, but you aren’t well enough to be able to make a lot of headway on your important tasks.

This scenario reminds me of the TV show Code Black that was on CBS a few years ago. The definition they used for Code Black was ”when there are more patients than resources.”

[Tweet “What happens when you have so much to do, and not enough energy to do it all?”]

What do you do when you feel like your life is in “code black”? When you have so much to do, and not enough energy to do it all?

Here are 2 solutions:

Solution #1

Take a day off! Seriously, you feel so crummy that you really aren’t getting much done anyway.  Take the day, rest and recover. Ignore the voice in your head that says, “You really aren’t sick enough to stay home . . . you are tougher than this . . . suck it up buttercup . . . “

Believe me – you will be way better off in the long run. The more you push yourself, the longer you will be sick, and the sicker you will become.

Plus, your clients deserve the best of you, don’t they!?!?

Solution #2

If you are thinking, “Lisa, my work is so important that I can’t possibly take any time off unless I have double walking pneumonia, a broken leg, and hives all over my body . .. and even then I’m only going to take half a day,” use this short-term triage strategy.

  • Write down everything that you need to get done. Don’t worry about putting it into order. Don’t worry about when it’s due. Don’t worry about whether it’s business or personal. Just write it down.
  • Next, put a star next to everything that HAS to be finished in the next 24 hours. (AND by “has to be finished,” I mean someone’s health could suffer or you run the risk of loss of income.)
  • Cancel non-essential appointments. (You have them!)
  • Ignore the rest of the list and only work on those tasks that you starred.
  • Then go home and go to bed!

Now, pay attention… this is important!

I’m not advocating working entirely by a deadline-driven task list for the rest of your life. However, when you are in the “code black” time you CANNOT complete everything. Save the little energy you have and reduce your stress by identifying what needs to be completed NOW and what can be pushed off a bit.

Now, if you realize that Solution #2 is pretty much how you operate on a day-to-day basis, we need to talk.

Living by deadline every day (or even ONE DAY) is tough. You feel stressed, overwhelmed, and out-of-control. And living in that adrenaline-filled state is bad for your physical and emotional well-being!

Plus, I promise you, it is affecting your bottom line.

Ready to explore a different reality? Apply for a complimentary Productivity Breakthrough Session – let’s chat!

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