Cheesy musings

Sick productivity: The underrated power of feeling crappy

I thought it last night and I’m thinking it now: could it be possible that I’m more productive with nagging tasks when I’m sick? I’ve had a hard time sitting down to write this week, no more than any other work-week, except that I caught some cold-flu bug like 90 per cent of shoppers, lining up for NyQuil while refusing to lower their hoods indoors.

And yet, here I sit, forcing myself to get something down for consistency’s sake while I wait on elements for a few other posts (but spoiler: I’m supernova-excited about tips from a high-profile chef that created one of the best cheese-centric meals I’ve had in dog year). Maybe I’ve subconsciously absorbed the chiding meant for my youngest brother across the table, who’s oozing an entire afternoon away over homework (yes, I babied my way to my parents’ house to ride out my virus). Maybe I’m Barney-Stintson delusional.

But that wouldn’t explain last night. I was hoping to leave work a little early as my symptoms had recovered from their Tyenol-high long enough to host another rager. But I stayed to the end to send off trickier e-mails that could’ve waited until Monday. I re-imagined leftovers instead of takeout. I asked my building’s management about that spare key that still needs to be made. It hit me when I crossed my threshold after taking out a festering garbage bag: Am I more productive when I’m sick?

Make no mistake, I spent the entire evening watching re-runs of Gilmore Girls, so in terms of activity, ah-hell no. But each time I avoided doing a task that had been lingering all week because I was sick, I figured, well, think about how much better you’ll feel Monday when you’re recovered (fingers crossed!) and you don’t have mountains of stuff to catch up on. You feel like sh-t anyway, might as well make the most of it.

The shine of productivity is blaring when you’re feeling inspired, energetic, even just content. But what about when you’re not feeling so hot, whether it’s out of sickness, boredom or everyday malaise? One of the best things I learned in J-skool and in my experience after is that it’s rare for inspiration, endurance, convenience and deadlines to line up in tandem. So, no stranger to forcing myself to write. But I’ve found it becomes a little easier to accomplish whatever’s nagging at me when I don’t feel like doing much else, anyway: see the night I finally started writing cheese profiles.

Thanks, flu, for a post that’s imperfect, devoid of cheese porn, but complete.

Is this bummer-productivity true for you? Do you wait until you’re at full throttle to get to lingering list items? I want to know whether I’m making this up or if it might actually be real: tweet, e-mail or comment!

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