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How to be Productive When a Family Member is Unwell

The following post is from Prerna of The Mom Writes:

unwell person
source:kenna takahashi

It is difficult enough to be productive and manage your time well when everything and everyone in the family is healthy and well. So, you can imagine how your productivity can take a turn for the worse when someone, especially a spouse, falls chronically ill.

We have this situation currently at our home where my husband’s been pretty much confined to the bed due to chronic pain and inflammation for the last year now.

Has illness made things tough? You bet.

But it is possible to stay focused, do what you have to do and have a good laugh as well. Here’s how:

Spend Time Praying and Reflecting

Whether you’re religious or not, a crisis will seem more manageable if you take some quiet time to connect with God or your own inner self. Even five minutes early in the morning, sipping a cup of tea, and looking out the window as you breathe in calm and serenity will do wonders to how you deal with the day.

Focus Only On the Essentials

I’ve had to be brutal and I mean, ruthlessly brutal with my to-do list and focus more on the no-do list instead. Focusing only on your priorities will help you do more during a difficult time with little or no support.

Family, health and happiness come first for me. Work follows. Obsessing over dust on the countertop or clothes spread out on the living room lounger don’t figure anywhere in the Top 10. The idea is to use this time and identify what brings you together as a family and then, focus on that. Laundry doesn’t unite a family. Love and caring does. So, make time for that.

Ask for Help

We often expect loved ones to be mind-readers and just assume that they should offer us support. {Ask me how I know this!} Little do we realize that they aren’t mind-readers, they’re just folks like me and you who may be caught up in busyness of their own. So, ask. Be humble and ask for help.

Need to talk to someone? Pick up the phone and call a friend instead of moping around feeling sorry for yourself. Asking for help will not only raise your spirits but also increase productivity, allowing you to do what needs to be done easily.

Establish a Routine {of Some Sort}

A routine or at least a structure to the day helps to focus on the essentials and allows you to do more in less time. Not knowing what comes next always leads to whiling time away thinking, “What to Do Now”.  I know that my day starts at 4.30 and I have a flow that leads from one thing to the next. I include time for rest, downtime, playtime and story/fun time with my toddler and husband too in my day’s routine.

Be Happy with the Change

Is it easy facing illness of any sort? No. But it is better when you try to be happy, focus on the positive, try to take care of your own self,  and embrace the change wholeheartedly. Being happy is one of the easiest ways to stay productive. Crabby people don’t do much. {Don’t ask me how I know that!}

A prolonged period of illness and sickness can wreak havoc on your schedule, projects and deadlines. An attitude of happiness and humility can help you deal with it and stay just as productive as ever.

How do you stay productive when a spouse or partner is unwell?

Prerna Malik is a mom, a wife, a writer and woman who believes in being postively productive, parenting with love and creating a home that invites you to put your feet up and relax. Find her sharing her journey and experiences with productivity and parenting at The Mom Writes.