Working with Mild Illness

I don’t have the time and energy for anything too big, but I do want to keep my streak!

Today I’m having that sort of impending sickness feeling. You can kind of sense something is off, but you can’t explain it. I have a bit of a runny nose or stuffiness or congestion. I can’t really put a finger on it.

And I’m tired, even though I’ve had eighteen hours of sleep over the past two nights. Granted that came with three hours of sleep the night before for reasons. It’s unusual for me to sleep that much, and unusual for me to be this tired afterwards, even though I worked out this morning and have eaten well all day.

So I’m not down, I’m not out, and I get some work done. The biggest strategy for me is to look for smaller, less dangerous things. When working in code you can easily do negative work, and this is something I want to avoid. Small bugfixes are great: write a little test, confirm the thing, fix it, confirm it’s fixed, deploy. Another strategy is looking for little admin things to pick off. Can you help your future self or someone on the team by getting those out of the way? Oh, and maybe there’s a small road block someone is hitting that you can help with. If you’re generally conscious, being the rubber duck in a pair can also be useful.

I’m not condoning working while very sick. Doing more damage than good isn’t helpful, and it’s also probably not helpful to getting you healthy again. Though when the illness is mild and your brain is semi-functional, you can contribute some things!

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