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NPW Self Curious: Calling in sick is good for you

Published: 17 October 2018
Categories: Uncategorised

In the space of the last week I’ve had a cold and food poisoning. Annoying? Yes. But it does mean I’ve had a chance to practice a few of the mantras we hear and dish out when it comes to wellness and work.
This is a short post because, at the time of writing, I’m 20 hours out from waving goodbye to my dinner in the middle of the night.

Here is my very complicated method of how to know whether to have a sick day (or not):
Are you sick? If yes, don’t go to work.

In your end of year review you won’t remember that one day you came in and heroically battled through. But, reflecting back on the whole life picture with a glass of bubbly on New Year’s Eve, you probably will remember that you spent all of November trying to shift a chesty cold.

Here’s why time off is always the best option, and answers to some of the niggles that plague us when we’re wondering whether to make that call to our boss to say we aren’t coming in:

Your health is more important than your work. Worrying about your work will not help you get better. Give yourself permission to check out of work brain and do one thing: give your body the TLC it needs.
Time does not equal output. One day of your best energy is worth four of your worst. Go back to bed.
Not everything will get done, and here’s the crux: it doesn’t matter. Unforeseen things happen all the time and nobody gets fired.
Your health is more important than your work (is this getting through yet?)
Your truly urgent work will be done by other people, and they won’t do it the same way you would. Deal with it. They are doing it because you’re in a team. That’s what team mates do. Say thank you and don’t be a control freak.
Say it with me: “My health is more important than my work.”

It all comes down to the biggest thing: life is bigger than work, and you can only do you. At no point consider if you are irreplaceable or dispensable to your work place. Big home truth: you are both replaceable and dispensable at work. But out in the big wide world, there is only one of you. Look after yourself like you truly deserve to be looked after.

Claire Eadington geeks out on workflow management, performance and wellbeing. Claire’s TEDx talk about barriers to performance for exceptional women kicked off the 2017 TEDxWhitehallWomen event in London.


Claire writes a weekly blog, Self Curious, on NPW’s website.
Read more blogs here.



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