How to be productive when sick? (Productive Leisure/Active Leisure)

First and foremost: You don’t have to be productive in every waking moment of your life. According to my definition of productivity (getting more done is less time, more effectively) , you should focus on quality, not quantity. Obviously, if you do the best you can on days of good health, you have every right to enjoy the sick days- relaxing and doing whatever you want.

However, if you are like me, you will not feel fulfilled by watching TV, YouTube, and scrolling social media all day. You might feel stupid after a day of binge-watching. Instead of forcing yourself to be productive on sick days, practice ‘Productive Leisure’.

Now, Productive Leisure is where you are spending your time having fun but it is also contributing to your productivity either directly or indirectly. Examples of ‘active leisure’ or ‘productive leisure’ can include:

  • If you are a Writer: Take this time to catch up on your reading. Finish reading that novel. Re-read your favorite books that inspired you to write. Read the stuff you generally don’t read. Explore outside your genres. Who knows, you might discover a new book that you absolutely love and it improves your writing drastically!
  • If you are a Musician: Listen to new music from different genres. Hop on to internet radio sites and apps and let it play while you lie down. Listen to your childhood favorites. Check out some classics.
  • If you are a Lawyer (or any professional): Read news, current affairs to be aware of advancements in your field. Look up what changes might come in the future and how you should be prepared for it. Read books and watch movies about people in your field to regain the inspiration you had when you first started.

Think of this analogy: For productive leisure, instead of looking forward or backward, you are looking sideways. Gathering inspiration and knowledge from others in your field. Taking a moment to reflect on how far you have grown. Take it as an opportunity to sit back and relax. Often, we do get sick due to overworking. So it could be your body’s way of saying,”Back off!” You need to take a breath and relax. Soon you will be out of bed, ready to take on the world. Until then, forget about the world and focus on yourself.

Get well soon!


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