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I am often very productive and motivated. However, this is destroyed when I have a cold or allergies or am simply not feeling well. I am not talking about having a very obvious illness - I am referring to a cold, etc, or something where it is not quite as clear I am "sick."

This causes me to have a lack of motivation as I feel exhausted and tired, but, as I am not really sick I find it difficult to justify calling in, etc, but still have to get things done.

What techniques can I use to regain productivity and motivation when I am not feeling well?

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

15 -20 days in a year is normal. everyone get sick and has the normal slump in productivity. tell them to take it easy on me for a day or two.

if there are important things to take care off at your work or somewhere. here are my advises.

1) I think that the sickness is more about your state of mind . The more you lay on your couch feeling bad, the more you will feel sick . Force yourself out of the couch and go and face the world. I assure you will start feeling good straightaway.

2) Having a positive self talk will definitely help on those days. Try to make a step by step goals. This will help you to get motivated and productive.

3) I started feeling better as soon i finish 15- 20 minutes jumping , stretching etc on my low feeling sick days.

4) Get a hot shower before the start of the day.

5) Overall having a exercise and some jogging routine 365 days a year will bring feeling not well days very much down. Many including myself has underestimated it's power but when started doing it regularly, it done wonders for me on every front in my life.

6) Make your important task interesting. This is about overall attitude how you live your life. The more positive you are in your day to day life will bring more positiveness even if you are sick.

7) Cheer up your mood, this is life and everyone has it's share of ups and down.

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Your body is trying to tell you something - it needs rest in order to get better. What's wrong with doing what you feel up to? Or calling in sick and doing a little work?

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If you have this a lot, consider your diet. Our bodies are made 100% of what we eat (and don't poop out) and if you don't eat the right things, your body won't function optimally. The diet as recommended by the ADA won't cut it.

I'm a big fan of the Perfect Health Diet. They have a great book but you can also just read the site and blog posts. If you don't like them there's also Robb Wolf (very nice podcast) or Mark Sisson (very understandable blog) and others. Google "Paleo diet" for more.

Ever since I started eating (and supplementing) this way, I gained a lot of energy and don't become sick easily. I still get some colds but on those days I supplement extra vitamin C (couple grams a day) and that really keeps the symptoms to a minimum.

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If it is a mild sickness in which you don't have a temperature higher then 37^C, perhaps you could try light aerobic exercise (running or similar).

That will definately boost your immune system if you do it regularly, preventing you from getting sick in the future and in the same time - making you feel better after the exercise itself.

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