All the wonderful athletes at the recent Olympics have many qualities that lead to their success, one of which is probably stoicism. But stoicism is not always appropriate.
“I’ve been sick for two weeks. I just can’t seem to get better.” “I’ve had a cold/flu for over a week. I’ve tried everything except staying in bed.” Sound familiar?
The last few months in South Africa we have had a few nasty cold and flu bugs doing the rounds. If you are genuinely sick, stoically going to work every day is, in most cases, stupid. There are very few of us who are absolutely indispensable – despite how we like to see ourselves. If we work for a company and get run over by a bus, the company doesn’t collapse!
When we go to work sick we make other people sick.
When we go to work sick we can’t think clearly or concentrate properly, so we only get half the work done.
When we go to work sick we make mistakes.
A day or so of bed rest (with medicine if needed) allows the body to do what it is designed to do – heal itself. And quicker than it ever can whilst we are up and running around.
Even an ill performer in a world where the maxim is “the show must go on”, can rest most of the day and then go to the theatre at night. And those of us who work for ourselves need to do the maths on a couple of half days off versus a few weeks of working at half pace.
So if you have succumbed to one of the nasty bugs please don’t be a martyr. Take a couple of days to stay home and get good bed rest. Then go back to work and give it your all.