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How to Stay Productive With a Chronic Illness

Updated: Mar 12, 2022

I've always loved to plan. But if there is one big thing that chronic illness has taught me is that a flare-up can easily throw a wrench in all those plans. Although I am unable to prevent flare-ups from interrupting my schedule, I have found a way to work with my circumstances instead of against them.

Here are a few tips for staying productive that have helped me:

  1. What are your top priorities for the month, week, and day? Here is where having a planner comes in handy. It's a visual representation of what you need to get accomplished. What's most important for you versus what would be nice to have? Maybe you don't have enough spoons today to complete your biggest goal, but by breaking it down, you can accomplish the parts of it that you can.

  2. Write in pencil and have an eraser nearby. With chronic illness, life becomes even more unpredictable, so it's important to give yourself the flexibility to change plans.

  3. What time of day are your symptoms worst? Spend a few days tracking your energy levels to determine this. For many spoonies, the worst time of day is in the morning. I now spend most of my mornings doing tasks that don't require too much brainpower. I reserve the evenings for more concentrated tasks.

  4. Space out your week so that you have days where you are just resting. In college, I juggled a busy workload on top of school work and weekly doctor appointments. So I knew the day that I went to the doctor was just reserved for that and nothing else. I scheduled no classes, did no homework, and did not work those days.

This is my amazing but very beat-up planner.

What helps you stay productive? Share in the comments below.


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