Tips for planning for health issues

If you are here, you’re likely the type of person that owns your life. Owning it doesn’t just end with the good stuff, but also means embracing all the other crap that slides your way. Including health issues.

No one plans for health issues.

health issues, depression, stressWhen you’re an owner, you don’t wake up and think, “I think next week I’ll come down with the flu.” That’s the stuff people wanting to escape their life instead of owning it come up with. But we’re owners, and we tend to go get the world. There isn’t time for illness.

Trust me, I think this every time I get a headache, let alone something major that takes me down a few notches.

But, that’s a lie. We do have the time, and we need the balance in life. We are humans, and humans can’t go full steam forever. Even if we wish we could.

So, how do you cope the inevitable reality of being a mere mortal?

I’ll be honest, I’m no master of this. I constantly push to get more and more out of myself, the people I influence, my research, my company, and… well… everything I can. However, I’ve developed a few techniques that have helped win the battle against both physical and mental lows. Health issues be damned. You got this.

First, set up for success.

Understand the natural highs and lows. Are you a day person or a night person? Are you more energetic in warm weather or cold? Do you slow down when the weather clouds over? Take note of these highs and lows and work with it. When you’re at your best, do your best. When you’re not, give yourself permission to take it down a notch. Forward is forward, no matter how slow you’re going.

When you do this, you’ll be able to feel like you’re struggling a lot less.

Don’t procrastinate. Ever. You know you’ve got an endless to do list. You know that if you do the priorities first, you’ll breathe a sigh of relief, then kick back with a congratulatory mug of tea. Only to procrastinate in your victory for so long that you rush to the next thing.

Grab that congratulatory snack, but set a timer to prompt yourself into getting back to it short order.

Then, use tools for quarantining your sanity and madness.

calendar, planning, time managementUse a calendar. Use a calendar to put deadlines on. Need to write a paper before your next conference? Put both in the calendar. Schedule activities, meetings, deadlines (even for bills), and maintenance checks on your equipment. Schedule personal and work things in the same calendar. (I colour code types of events so I can tell at a glance what is going on.)

Putting all these things in your calendar gives you a realistic view of life. When you have this right in front of you, you can’t say yes to things you aren’t a priority.

Use a timer. We all know the adage of things expanding to fill the time you give it. So, put a fence around that time and give it less time. Guaranteed you’ll speed up on things.

Pick a few priorities. One of the most interesting and useful ways I’ve seen for doing this comes from busy mum, Megan Flatt. Her secret to being a mum and a business owner was to write out her priorities on a single Post-it note. She can only fit a few on there, so she would know that she wasn’t attempting to overload herself. When you’re restricted to a few tasks, you make sure they are good ones that move you forward.

Use a system that works for you. You. Not the guy down the hall. Not the mum blogger you admire. Not the one that the entire scicomm community on Twitter is raving about. You.

You need to find methods that work with your own unique life and methods. There will be elements from different things you can use, but don’t be afraid to tweak as you need.

When you need a break you’re all set.

When you take all these things and utilise them regularly it doesn’t matter if the shit hits the fan.

You’ll be OK with it rather than fretting while lying in bed looking like death is taunting you. It won’t be a bit deal if, after getting reject a dozen times before lunch, if you need to just take an afternoon off to hike it off. (Yep, that happened to me.)

Health issues be damned. You’ll be set up to tackle the worst and keep your business thriving every step of the way. Just remember not to leave samples out in the open where they can get contaminated, and you can rest up with peace of mind.

Your turn. What are your go-tos that prepare you for health issues?